Group demands supplementary milk payment
A supplementary payment on milk must be introduced to deliver a guaranteed price of 33c/l for the first 182,000 litres (40,000ga) produced, a dairy lobby group has claimed.
Ordinary family-run dairy farms cannot survive at current price levels and thousands are on the verge of going to the wall, a National Milk Rights Group (NMRG) meeting in Claremorris, Co Mayo, was told last week.
The farmers' group wants the Government or EU to make up the shortfall between current returns from dairies and the 33c/l being sought. In most cases, this would equate to a top-up of 8c/l.
When asked if this could be justified in the economic climate, NMRG chairman Donie Shine said the Government had a responsibility to support small-scale milk producers.
Mr Shine said France and Germany had moved to save their dairy farmers, and he asked why similar action could not be introduced in Ireland.
The dairy farmer body is also seeking an increased share of Ireland's total Single Farm Payment (SFP).
Mr Shine claimed the dairy sector delivered 33pc of the gross agricultural output, but milk suppliers received just 14pc of the SFP.
The level of payment from the SFP to milk suppliers should be trebled for the first 40,000ga supplied, he said. It was suggested that this could be financed by capping SFP payments to companies and large farmers.