Claim milk price 'shortfall' worth €2k to average milk supplier

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The shortfall between the Ornua PPI price-per-litre and the average price actually being paid by Irish Co-ops will cost the average milk supplier “around €2,000” over the peak production period, according to the ICMSA.

The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee Ger Quain said that the May price announcements so far had raised more questions than they answered.

However, one,  he said, loomed above all others and answering it was now an imperative: “The Co-ops must explain to their farmer-suppliers why they are either unwilling or unable, to pay their farmer-suppliers the price that they themselves are receiving.

"Just announcing that you’ve managed to hold price can’t be enough; the least farmers are entitled to is an explanation of why they are now receiving a price that, in some cases, is now approximately 1.5 cpl less than the price that the Co-ops have already received," he said.

He said the onus is not on ICMSA to speculate, the onus is on the Co-ops to explain publicly why they are not paying farmers the 32 cpl that the Ornua Index indicates as the minimum price that every milk supplier in the state should be being paid.

"We await the explanation”, said Mr Quain.

This week, Glanbia, Lakeland Dairies and Kerry all announced unchanged milk prices for May supplies.

Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane said While protein prices have improved in recent months, the butter market has weakened.

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“Demand in many developed economies remains sluggish due to weaker economic growth and trade issues," he said.

Meanwhile, Lakeland Dairies said that continues to be weakness in the European dairy markets driven by the persistently high volumes of product in stock, particularly in the UK.

"Official European butter prices have hit a four-year low in recent weeks," it said.

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