Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Anger as co-ops say no to July milk rises

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

GLANBIA and Kerry have refused to increase milk prices for July supplies, despite pressure from dairy farmers.

Glanbia announced on Thursday that it would maintain its milk price at 30c/l, including VAT for milk supplied in June.

A spokesman for Kerry confirmed that its 30c/l VAT inclusive price remained unchanged but added that this was under constant review.

Lakeland Dairies and Town of Monaghan Co-op have also maintained their price of 30c/l, VAT inclusive, for July.

Arrabawn has held its price at 29c/l, plus VAT, following a meeting of the board on Friday.

The boards of Tipperary Co-op and Connacht Gold are to decide on milk price today, while Dairygold board members are expected to meet later this week.

Dairy farmers have reacted in dismay to the lack of a price increase for July.

IFA dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey said he was disappointed that co-ops failed to pass back to producers the full benefits of the July dairy market returns by paying 30c/l plus VAT for July milk.

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"It is obvious that co-ops are not reflecting the movement in the market. They are clearly leaving themselves with a buffer against any weakening," he said.

"Overall returns remain strong, with the Irish Dairy Board butter and skim powder index for July still paying the equivalent of 34.5c/l for milk at 3.3pc protein and 3.6pc butterfat, and the cheddar and whey powder combination is running at a significant 2.5c/l premium to this."

Pat McCormack, ICMSA's dairy chairman, insisted that, based on current returns from the Irish Dairy Board, co-ops should, at the very least, be paying a price in excess of 31c/l, including VAT, for July for the butter and SMP combination, while the other dairy products were returning prices higher than this.

"It is ICMSA's firm view that those co-ops setting the milk price for July at 30c/l are holding back on farmers, and it is incumbent on their boards to explain to members and suppliers why their milk price was lagging behind the market strength," he insisted.

"Dairy farmers still have many bills to pay from last year and co-op board members must insist that the full returns of the marketplace are passed back for July with a milk price increase to, at least, 31c/l."

Irish Independent