Spot prices add interest to monthly online auctions Milk Group chairman David Stern has announced plans to bolster his members' prices for raw milk. These include developing its monthly milk auctions into a bigger, national scheme, as well as developing the producer co-op's organic and Channel Islands' milk pools. The monthly online auctions, in conjunction with Scottish Milk, are moving some three million litres of milk a month. September's auction for October delivery raised spot prices of 23ppl. There is a growing disparity between IMPE based price levels offered by processors of 18ppl and less against increasingly firm spot prices. "Given that there's such a strong demand for milk-based products, an intervention price-linked system is increasingly irrelevant to today's market," said Milk Group chief executive Robert Audas. Stern criticised the structure of milk marketing in the UK, describing it as: "fragmented and weaker than it should be". He also hinted at a probable deal with the West Country specialist cheese business Lubborn Cheese. Speaking at the producer co-operative's annual meeting, he told members: "We are prevented from giving detailed information at this stage, but we do have the necessary financial support." The Somerset brie maker fits Stern's vision of investing in "niche, added value, profitable processing with good growth prospects". Volumes of milk sold by the co-operative have risen by 20%, with the arrival of over 240 new members. Over half the new recruits are Channel Island milk producers. {{PROVISIONS }}