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New contract for Cumbrian farmers
DAIRY co-operative First Milk is launching a new contract to Cumbrian farmers.
The company said it wanted to reward high quality milk supplied to its award-winning Lake District Creamery, based at Aspatria.
Instead of paying on a pence per litre basis, First Milk will pay producers on the weight of butterfat and protein in milk supplied.
The innovative approach was developed in conjunction with a group of First Milk's Cumbrian members.
It will be available to all the company’s members in the Lake District Creamery milk field, as well as other farmers in Cumbria interested in supplying the creamery. Last month, after dairy farmers launched their national protest, First Milk joined other processors in reversing plans to impose price cuts.
First Milk membership director Alan Taylor said: “This new contract is a completely different approach for us and one that is unique for the UK dairy industry. “When producing cheese and whey protein concentrate as we do at the Lake District Creamery, we're looking for a different profile of milk from farmers than that required for liquid processing.
“It is the protein and butterfat in milk that are important for making cheddar, and the higher the milk quality we receive in terms of protein and butter-fat, the less milk is required to make a tonne of cheese.
“While we've made good progress recently in terms of getting the milk we need, we believe that we can do even better. With that in mind, we've worked with farmers who supply the creamery to develop this new milk contract over several months.
“The aim is to achieve a milk supply that delivers the best profile for cheddar-making. This will not only help the creamery to achieve greater efficiencies, but it also allows us to share the benefits with the farmers supplying us.”
For more information contact Toni Bruce at the Lake District Creamery on 016973 24912 or emailing ToniBruce@firstmilk.co.uk