Dairy Crest, the UK's largest single raw milk buyer, has agreed to offer producers an extra two pence per litre (ppl) for their milk. The improved offer replaces an earlier, much criticised 1.4ppl (The Grocer, October 7, p26) This has been made possible because four major supermarket chains ­ Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda and Safeway ­ have separately agreed to fund an additional producer element in the price they will pay for retail liquid milk. Supermarket liquid milk sales account for nearly half the volume of milk traded in the UK. The increased producer payments will last until the end of December, the halfway point in the current milk trading period. Low producer prices have been blamed for the current shortages in raw milk supplies. Intervention Board figures to the end of September show a 169 million litres shortfall on a cumulative quota profile of 7.2 billion litres. - See story on page 28. {{NEWS }}