Muller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed details of a new initiative designed to help British dairy farmers manage the impact of extreme farm-gate milk price volatility.

The move follows recent confirmation by Lidl UK of a new partnership with Muller Milk & Ingredients, which will see the dairy company become the supermarket's main milk supplier from 1st June 2018.

Since establishing itself in the UK in 1994,Lidl has experienced continuous growth and now has over 700 stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

Muller Direct farmers will be offered the option to secure up to 50 per cent of their milk supply at 28p per litre fixed price for up to 3 years, to fulfil the supermarket's requirement for fresh milk.

Muller claims that by securing a fixed price for a portion of their milk supply, farmers can substantially reduce their exposure to market volatility which has seen farm-gate milk prices suffer dramatic swings in the past.

Rob Hutchison, Muller Milk supply Director said: "There's no doubt that the highs and lows of market volatility are challenging to deal with, creating uncertainty and inability to plan ahead.

"This new approach gives dairy farmers security and confidence for the future and is a very good example of innovation which benefits the whole supply chain."

Muller Direct farmers can apply now to apportion milk in 10,000 litre per month lots and the "Muller Direct Fixed Price Contract" commences 1st June.

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 4 prime heifers in Dumfries on Wednesday to a top of 221p per kg and an average of 179.7p.

In the rough ring 21 beef cows sold to 184p and averaged 144.7p, while 46 dairy cows peaked at 152p and levelled at 127.4p.

The firm also sold 323 prime hoggs to a top of £135.50 per head and 276p per kg to average 226.8p (-24.9p on the week).

A nice show of 197 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £130.50 for a Suffolk and average £86.80, while light/export-type ewes peaked at £99.50 for a Cheviot and levelled at £48.43.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 472 prime hoggs in Newton Stewart on Wednesday to a top of £110 and 243.9p to average 206p (-31.8p). Included in that overall average were 167 Blackfaces that peaked at £102 and 221.1p to level at 209p.

There were also 14 prime lambs forward that sold to £120 and 255.6p to average 246p (-83p).

A mixed show of cast sheep saw 51 heavy ewes sell to £113 for Suffolks and average £81.54, while 34 light ewes peaked at £69 for Blackfaces and levelled at £52.83.