Suppliers to Dale Farm who signed up to fixed milk price contracts will receive an extra 4p/l on the litres committed to these schemes, starting from September 2022.

The additional 4p/l will be paid right through to the end of 2023, which for the vast majority of farmers is the end point of their contract.

In late 2020, a three-year fixed price scheme offered by the co-op was oversubscribed. It pays 29p/l from October to March, reducing to 26p/l from April to September, and started from 1 January 2021.

It is understood that Dale Farm has negotiated the increase directly with the customer concerned, so the money is not coming out of other income generated by the co-op.

The move by Dale Farm comes after other NI processors decided in the spring to increase the prices paid out in fixed milk contracts.

Lakeland Dairies has committed to pay an additional 7p/l on fixed litres from April to December 2022, while Aurivo added 3 and 4p/l on their fixed price contracts from April. Glanbia Ireland has paid an agri-input support payment of 2.5p in April, rising to 3.75p/l from May on all litres supplied.

July prices up 2p/l

While the top-up to fixed-price contracts will be welcomed by affected farmers, there is still a big gap to the price of milk outside these schemes.

Base milk prices in NI have now broken the 46p/l barrier, thanks to a 2p/l increase for July applied by the three largest processors of milk.

Dale Farm will pay its suppliers a base 46.05p/l, which includes its 0.3p/l loyalty bonus, an increase of just over 16p/l on the same month last year.

Lakeland Dairies was first to declare a price for July and set the trend with a 2p/l increase, bringing its base price to 46p/l.Earlier this week, Glanbia Cheese also applied the same price rise which puts its suppliers on a starting price of 45p/l for July. Strathroy confirmed on Wednesday that it is also increasing base price by 2p/l, taking the Omagh-based processor to 45p/l.

See next week’s edition for an analysis of prices in our monthly milk leaue.


The latest price rises come despite commodity markets facing some challenges. The second and final GDT auction for August ended with a 2.9% drop in the index price, although this was a much smaller price drop compared to the previous three events.

There were positives, with butter, cheddar and skim milk powder all rising in value. However, this was offset by a 3.5% drop in the price of whole milk powder.

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