Farmers demand answers on March milk price cuts
FARMING organisations have reacted angrily to the cut in March milk prices by both Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies last Friday.
Glanbia said it was paying 30.5c/L (VAT inc), down 1c/L, while Lakeland Dairies announced a price of 31.56c/L (VAT and lactose bonus included) for March supplies.
ICMSA's dairy committee chairperson, Ger Quain, said that farmers were entitled to be cynical about milk price given the decision of two of the country's biggest milk processors to cut their milk price.
"It is an extraordinary situation where the Ornua PPI can rise month after month with either no corresponding rise in farmer milk price or price rises that are wholly insufficient or proportionate to the rise in the index. We then see a marginal fall in the index that is largely explicable by factors outside dairy markets - Brexit, for instance - and literally that week farmers see their milk price cut," said Mr Quain.
"The plain fact is that Irish co-ops have been lagging near the bottom of the European price per litre table for a very considerable time; that are already underpaying on any kind of 'like-for-like' comparison with their European counterparts."
The move by two of the country's largest processors comes as milk production is on target to top 8bn litres this year, with deliveries to some producers up 12-13pc in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Glanbia said its March price is "in line with current market returns".
Glanbia chairman Martin Keane said: "Glanbia Ireland has maintained its base price of 30c/L to reflect current market returns.