First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe has written to his members this week outlining a number of moves that the co-op is making to secure greater returns from core markets, and how the company is working creatively to find additional routes to pass back more money to members' businesses.
Mustoe explained, "Returning cash to our owners remains central to everything we do and on that basis we made a number of decisions at our Board meeting on Tuesday.
"Following the price increase of 0.5ppl from the 1st of April, we are lifting the liquid pool price by a further penny to take our standard litre price to 30.65ppl. This will be done in two stages with a 0.5ppl increase from the 1st of July and a further 0.5ppl increase from the 1st of August.
"Having increased the price by 0.4ppl from the 1st of April, we are holding the manufacturing pool price at the current level of 28.9ppl. We continue to have discussions with all our main cheese customers, where they have demonstrated a good understanding of the current market environment.
"Following the 3% payment in April, we remain fully committed to paying out two returns on capital per annum, a 6% total.
"As returns from commodity markets continue to increase and milk production stays low, we are diverting a proportion of our existing milk volume to Westbury.
"We are also launching a new commodity contract to maximise the opportunity that these commodity markets afford. The commodity contract is targeted at securing new volume and all profits from putting this new milk through Westbury will be channelled back to enhance the returns for members' businesses. It is a market-driven contract with a price tracker mechanism based on quoted Dutch prices."