Dale Farm has offered a new three-year fixed scheme to its suppliers.

Starting on 1 January 2022, suppliers can commit 10%, 15% or 20% of their annual supply under the new scheme.

In return, suppliers will receive a guaranteed base price of 30p/l for the six-month period from October to March, while for the six months from April to September, base price is set at 28p/l.

All standard premiums on milk quality are applicable on top of the outlined base prices. However, the co-op’s 2p/l winter bonus is not payable under the scheme.

Farmers interested in signing up are required to respond by 3 December.

Given that Dale Farm’s October base price was 33.8p/l, and market indicators point to base prices around 33p to 34p/l from early 2022 onwards, uptake of the latest fixed price scheme is expected to be lower when compared to previous versions offered by the co-op.

Lakeland scheme

Elsewhere, it is understood that Lakeland Dairies recently offered suppliers an opportunity to lock in at a fixed milk price for 2022 and 2023.

It guaranteed suppliers a base of 29p/l from October to March with a minimum 27p/l base paid from April to September, on 10% of annual supply.

However, unlike the Dale Farm offer, and previous fixed price schemes from Lakeland, suppliers would still get the co-op’s 3p/l winter bonus on November and December supply. Despite this, it is understood there was an extremely low uptake from farmers.


Meanwhile, the latest DAERA figures to the end of September 2021 show that Northern Irish farmers have produced 1.95bn litres of milk, the highest ever recorded over the period, and up 3.8% on the equivalent from 2020.

September milk price averaged 31.5p/l, which is a 0.8p/l increase on August and 3.23p/l more than the same month in 2020.

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