ONE of the major players in the county’s dairy industry, First Milk, has announced it will be holding its farmgate milk price from June 1.

The processor, owner of the Lake District Creamery at Aspatria, has announced its liquid standard litre will remain at 26.75ppl for June 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The manufacturing standard litre will also remain at 27.63ppl.

Jim Baird, farmer director and vice-chairman, said: “The effective shutdown of the foodservice sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted dairy markets, which have fallen sharply.

“Uncertainty continues, especially in relation to the easing of lockdown restrictions, and how long it will take for demand, and indeed the wider economy, to recover.”

Mr Baird said it would be hard to determine the total impact of Covid-19 on the UK dairy markets and global markets in the months ahead.

He added: “Of course, over time, we will not be completely insulated from the impact on the dairy markets, but as a farmer-owned co-operative we will continue to work to provide as much stability as possible for our members at this time.”

Meanwhile, following mounting industry pressure for Government intervention, a new fund was announced last week to support English dairy farmers through the market turmoil caused by Covid-19.

The closure of restaurants and cafes has seen a collapse in the demand for milk, alongside a big drop in prices paid by dairy processors.

The announcement will see eligible dairy farmers be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70 percent of their lost income during April and May.

This announcement was a U-turn by Defra.