Fodder crisis leads to hike in price of milk
CONSUMERS have been hit with major hikes in the price of milk. The increases have added 10c to the price of a litre and 20c to the price of a two-litre container.
Supermarkets which raised their prices over the last week blamed suppliers and the fodder crisis in farming for the increase.
Musgrave, which owns the SuperValu, Superquinn and Centra network, said its prices were increasing for both its own-brand milk and Avonmore and Premier milk, which are supplied by Glanbia.
The price of Avonmore one-litre has gone from €1.14 to €1.24, while two-litre containers have gone from €1.99 to €2.19.
The company's own-brand milk has gone from €0.75 to €0.85 for one litre and from €1.49 to €1.69 for two litres.
Musgrave said in a statement: "We understand the primary driver of this at farm level is the significant rise in the global commodity price for milk, due to the world-wide shortage and an increase in grain prices. The recent Irish fodder crisis has also had an impact."
Tesco is charging €1.25 for a litre of Avonmore and €2.19 for two litres.
Glanbia Consumer Foods Ireland said it had increased the wholesale price of its milk due to significant cost increases for raw milk in the last year.
It said these had been caused by both international factors and domestic issues, such as the fodder crisis putting pressure on farmers.
"There have been unprecedented supply and demand issues in global dairy markets, which have been exacerbated in Ireland by extreme local conditions," it said.
"These cost increases have been borne by Glanbia Consumer Foods for several months now. However, this position is no longer sustainable. These wholesale price increases are therefore now unavoidable."
Glanbia said that while it did not set the retail price for consumers it accepted that its wholesale price increases might be passed on to them.
It added: "We understand that any price increase is difficult for consumers in the current climate and although regrettable, the price increases are necessary to maintain a sustainable supply of dairy products for our consumers."
Milk prices paid to Irish farmers are close to the record levels seen in 2008 after bad weather last year hit global supplies, but the long winter and fodder shortages mean that their costs have also soared.