The recent loss of Dairy Crest's milk contract with The Co-operative Group was down to its inability to agree the right price, the company has revealed.

Dairy Crest currently supplies 25% of the Co-op's annual milk equating to 91 million litres but supply will cease in August after Robert Wiseman Dairies won the contract to supply 100% of its milk two weeks ago.

"Earlier this month we were unable to agree a suitable milk price with the Co-op Group," Dairy Crest said in its pre-close trading statement on Thursday. The society claimed it could get a better price ­elsewhere for the milk.

Robert Wiseman also issued its trading statement on Thursday and said it had recently started talks to recover increased milk and oil-related costs from customers. It warned it had suffered further cost inflation: "It is too early to assess the impact this might have on financial results for the forthcoming year."