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Friday 20 April 2018

Plea to pass on Ornua milk bonus

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

ORNUA'S co-op members have been called upon to pass a €15m bonus directly to farmers.

The ICMSA said the return of the bonus in full to milk suppliers was absolutely essential. "The payment is needed against a background of milk price cuts that were introduced during the most expensive time on dairy farms with fertiliser and meal bills," said the ICMSA's dairy chair Ger Quain.

The major dairy exporter reported record revenues of €2.1bn for 2017, an 18pc increase year-on-year. Operating profit at Ornua stood at €35m with performance driven by a record year for Kerrygold butter in Germany and the US.

IFA's Tom Phelan welcomed the development of the new and increased routes to market by the Ornua team but pointed out it was on the backs of the hard work of Irish dairy farmers who delivered a 9pc increase in milk in 2017.

"We urge co-ops to use the bonuses, which we understand they will be paid in April, to support farmers through the more challenging year ahead," he said.

Ornua said it was budgeting 28-30c/l including VAT for milk in 2018.

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