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Thursday 14 December 2017

Dairy farmers will feel 'short-changed' on single cent rise for May milk - ICMSA

Photo Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Photo Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Milk suppliers will feel short-changed by the single cent price rise announced by both Glanbia and Lakelands this week, according to the Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy Committee.

Gerald Quain said that the overwhelming body of data right throughout the EU and further afield both indicated and supported a May milk price of 33 cpl and the decision of both Co-ops to pay a full cent less was profoundly disappointing and in defiance of all the market indicators.

He noted that withholding this extra cent meant that over €8 million that should have been paid to farmer-suppliers this month had been withheld taking €450 from a typical 300,00 litre supplier’s May cheque.

The only conclusion that the milk suppliers could arrive at was that a conscious decision had been taken by the Co-ops to ‘sit’ on the increased margins they were themselves receiving for at least an extra month before passing the benefit back to their suppliers.

He said that this had become a established and disturbing element with Irish milk price cycles that sees falls in international dairy markets passed back instantly to farmer-suppliers while market rises are dribbled back on a ‘low and slow’ basis.

Mr Quain said it is a fact that Irish Co-ops are behind their mainland EU counterparts in terms of price paid to suppliers and today’s decision to withhold a cent per litre is hugely disappointing and unjustified based on demonstrable market returns.

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