The NFU has closed ranks with Farmers For Action, the farmer activist group behind recent protests at Asda and Tesco depots, to lobby for higher milk ­prices.

The two groups are also joining forces to push Defra to back recommendations by the European Commission and the EU's High-Level Milk Group.

NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said both groups had been "extremely angry and frustrated" in recent months, and agreed more pressure was needed to improve the lot of British dairy farmers.