Dairy farmers in Shropshire will find out in December if they have won another milk price increase from Muller and Robert Wiseman Dairies.
Farmers who supply the dairy, based in Market Drayton, now get 29 pence per litre as part of the latest rise in prices which came into force yesterday. But farmers say the cost of production is still calculated at 31.5 pence per litre.
The latest rise – three pence per litre – was announced by the company on September 12.
It affects all dairy farmers who do not supply major customers like Tesco, Sainsbury and the Co-operative Group, which have their own milk arrangements.
It came after a summer of protests across the country during which the Muller site at Market Drayton was blockaded three times.
David Handley, chairman of Farmers For Action, said the latest pay increase was just one small step in the fight to get a fair price.
He said: “It is welcome, it has been too long in coming. Now we are waiting for an announcement about what they are going to do on December 1.
“They have said they think they will be unable to move on prices again but that is not acceptable.
“They know what the cost of production is so they know the new figure is behind the times. It is still nearly 3p behind where they need to be – dairy farmers should be able to cover the cost of production.”
Shropshire councillor Paul Wynn, who used to supply Muller from his dairy farm near Whitchurch, said: “It is all a big smoke screen because they took two pence off us in the spring. We have lost the price for the summer milk and it is almost an insult by putting it back to the same price.
“They are taking with one hand and giving it back with another. I would like to see a lot more done. Failing crops in Europe, Russia and America will mean feed prices will go up by up to £60 per tonne which will equate to about 1.25p per litre on top off their food bill.”
Mr Wynn had 220 cows on his land but sold the farm in April because he was not making any money.
In putting up the price it pays for milk, the company said last month it wanted to substantially increase the number of dairy farmers who supply it directly.