Northern milk wars spill South
Northern Ireland's milk wars have spilled over the Border, with at least one Northern dairy processor actively courting suppliers.
Northern processor Strath-roy's call for new suppliers in the Republic is gaining momentum, with at least one bus-load of dairy farmers from the Dublin region travelling to the processor's Tyrone base last week to discuss the possibility of switching from Glanbia.
While many Southern dairy farmers are wary of making such a major move, especially with the end of quotas looming in 19 months' time, Northern dairy companies are making very strong pitches for extra supplies from the Republic.
All of the Co Monaghan-based Emmet milk pool was recently contracted to Northern processor Linwoods for the first time this month. However, Strathroy's approach to Glanbia suppliers in Louth, Meath and Dublin has moved the process up a gear.
Strathroy has not limited its approaches to liquid milk suppliers but is understood to be targeting operators who have large winter milk capacity.
The Tyrone-based outfit is reported to be offering a package that beats liquid milk suppliers' price by an average of 3c/l, on an annualised basis.
This is largely because the Omagh dairy is extending its offer to cover each farmer's entire supply.