First Milk has become the first major milk supplier to break a contract because of the growing milk shortage. The Paisley-based co-op announced it would not be able to supply all its customers with every litre of milk they wanted, and invoked the force majeure clause in contracts, pleading circumstances beyond its control, from August onwards. Though it is not pulling out of any contracts altogether, it is rationing supplies. Milk output from its members was at least 5% lower than originally forecast for August. "For some time, we have been experiencing a marked reduction in milk volumes from our members," said Peter Humphreys, chief executive of First Milk. "As a result, we are unable to honour our original contractual commitments." Customers had been informed of the situation, he said. "With milk production levels showing no sign of improving at present, we believe this situation is likely to continue beyond August," he added.