Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 February 2018

Heated milk talks pushed to the brink

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The row between Glanbia and liquid-milk producers will be pushed to the brink today, as the payment date for September deliveries looms.

A delegation of suppliers will meet with Glanbia's team of negotiators in a last-ditch attempt to bridge the gap between what farmers are demanding and what the co-op is offering.

This comes in the wake of heated scenes at a Glanbia information meeting held in Navan last week. Furious farmers vented their anger at Glanbia representatives over the winter milk price being offered.

Glanbia has pushed suppliers to take a 9pc drop in milk price this year, despite the fact that dairy markets have strengthened hugely over the same period. Glanbia wants to pay 30c/l for September, 32c/l for October and 32.5c/l for November and December.

Fresh Milk Producers' chairman Eamonn McEnteggart said that liquid-milk suppliers have made less money per litre than spring-calving dairy systems in nine out of the last 10 years.

But the clock is ticking on the negotiations, as milk cheques for September's supplies will go to print tomorrow.

Glanbia has also suggested that adequate supplies of winter milk could be sourced cheaper north of the Border.

The IFA's liquid milk chairman Padraig Mulligan said: "Dairies are the main guilty party. They have frittered away the margins in the business by conceding massive profits to retailers, and they now expect producers to pay for their foolish profligacy. They have completely misread the seriousness of the situation at farm level."

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Irish Independent