Müller UK and Ireland will offer a base price of 22.35p/L (31c) to non-aligned farmers in January 2016. The company is paying the same price for December milk.

“We have a supply base of 1,200 farmers. Their geographic spread stretches from the south-west of England to the north-east of Scotland,” said Müller spokesman Graeme Jack.

“Of these, 770 are directly aligned to one of three supermarkets: Tesco, Sansbury and the Co-op.

“The remaining 430 are termed ‘non-aligned’.

“Aligned producers receive monthly prices which, although differing from retailer to retailer, basically reflect the costs of production incurred at farm level.

“However, Müller also pays an additional supplement to its non-aligned farmers. This is calculated at the end of each month to reflect actual sales volumes from customers who wish to pay more.

“It amounted to 1.751p/L for October. The supplement for December will be added to the 22.35p base price for January, once it has been calculated.

Jack confirmed that Müller had an extensive liquid milk business in Britain.

“We also account for a high proportion of the fresh yoghurt and dessert sales in Britain. The Müller brand also accounts for 20% of all yoghurt sales in Ireland,” he said

“Different supply criteria are in place for the various aligned producer groups. For example, TESCO demands total segregation of the milk coming from their producer farms.

“This allows them to guarantee full traceability with regard to all of the liquid milk sold in their retail outlets.”

Müller is confirming that the milk price is still badly affected by world supply and demand problems. All its farmer suppliers are Red Tractor accredited. Suppliers elect a representative farmer board which works with the business to discuss milk supply issues.