Arla Foods has announced it will hold on-account prices for conventional and organic milk for April 2020.

However, a slight quarterly currency adjustment which will knock 0.15p/L off the UK price.

When applied to the UK manufacturing price, Arla’s will pay 30.79p/L for conventional milk and 39.83p/L for organic from April 1.

Arla Foods amba board director and farmer-owner Arthur Fearnall said: “The entire global economy is overshadowed by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the actions taken by governments across the world to limits its spread.

The dairy market is no exception, where we are seeing volatility in both demand and prices across all product categories and markets.

"It is, however, too early to assess what the overall impact on the dairy market will be and we are following market developments closely.”

Ash Amirahmadi, managing director at Arla, added: “We have mobilised our business and are working around the clock to keep our people safe and to supply customers with the products that they want.

"These are challenging times and it is encouraging to see the grocery retail sector and farming pulling together.

"I would like to thank every individual working across Arla, from farm to store delivery, as they continue to work exceptionally hard to prioritise getting milk on the shelves, to deliver for Britain.”

Rising farm input costs

Gary Mitchell, NFU Scotland Milk chairman, welcomed the decision for the price to be held but warned that costs on-farm were rising.

“The last seven days have been extremely unsettling for the whole country, however, the farmers of Scotland have as expected stepped up to the plate to keep the food supply flowing," he said.

"While this news from Arla is welcome, especially in the current turbulence, it is hoped that both retailers and milk buyers recognize the work of all the dairy farmers in Scotland and that this recognition is demonstrated in both the short and long term.

Costs on-farm are rising and this needs to be made clear. The next few weeks are going to be a challenge for all, but dairy farms will do what they do best and produce a product that we all know is as popular as ever.

"It is also important to stress that all farmers, their families and staff, must stay safe at this time and I would urge all to follow government guidelines to ensure we all get through this together.”