The increase takes its price over 26ppl
Dale Farm has announced a 2.5ppl increase on its base milk price. Along with a 2ppl winter bonus, this brings Dale Farm’s milk price to 26.17ppl for milk of average constituents.
Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has welcomed the increase.
Nick Whelan, group chief executive, Dale Farm said: "Today, at the cooperative’s Annual General Meeting in Cookstown we announced a significant lift in our milk base price to our farmer members.
"We have said consistently that the business would give back once the market delivered, and we have kept this promise.
"This increase will hopefully reaffirm our members’ confidence and pride in Dale Farm, after two years of falling global prices.
"Our farmers were very supportive today. The performance of the business in the past 12 months and our vision for the future was very well accepted.
"We have a strong customer base that recognises the value of Dale Farm post-Brexit, and our members felt reassured by this.
"They asked constructive and progressive questions today of the board and me, and accepted the decision to open the milk pool to new suppliers," he said.
UFU president, Barclay Bell, said the UFU had been pressing for some time for an increase in the milk price, and that he was glad this pressure had paid off with Dale Farm, as a farmer owned business.
"We were tough in our stance, to the degree that the organisation representing processors opted to suspend engagement with us over the issue.
"That was unfortunate, and I believe wrong, but I am more than happy to give credit where it is due. This is a timely and welcome move by Dale Farm, and one that will certainly be welcomed by the farmers that own the business.
The UFU has been critical of processors in Northern Ireland over their failure to pass on the impact of stronger global markets and the weakening of sterling.
"Dale Farm has done the right thing.
"My message to other processors is that an example has been set, and we will not shy away from being critical if others do not follow this lead.
We will continue to monitor markets and we will challenge processors again if we believe they are not being fair to their farmer suppliers," he said.