Dairy farmers angry at Glanbia’s low milk price

Anger is rapidly building up among Glanbia suppliers following cuts to its milk price in recent months, said IFA dairy chairman Tom Phelan.

He said Glanbia is now firmly last in the milk price league, being the only milk purchaser to have cut its pay-out to farmers in both February and March.

“Feedback from Glanbia farmer meetings and conversations with numerous suppliers clearly show just how dangerously out of touch Glanbia have become as to how important a benchmark milk price is to farmers,” said Mr Phelan.

The four West Cork co-ops are paying a net cash price of around 31.8cpl for March milk, with Boherbue and Aurivo around 30.4cpl. Dairygold, Lakeland, North Cork, Kerry and other all are over 29cpl. Glanbia and Centenary are paying 28.94cpl. These prices do not take account of each co-op’s quality bonus.

“Glanbia rightly pride themselves in being a leading player in the dairy industry. But farmers supplying Glanbia legitimately expect them to be a leading payer, too. And in this respect, all the farmers I speak to at the moment are bitterly disappointed with the poor Glanbia milk price performance.”

He said that Glanbia Ingredients Ireland takes a margin of 3.2% after tax, the highest in the industry. He said Glanbia agreed this margin with farmers in order to satisfy the company’s lending commitments used to fund expansion investment.

“Glanbia is well resourced, as shown by its ability to pay a €14m trading bonus to farmers this spring,” he said. “Glanbia must realise that farmers will judge them on the milk price they pay every month.”

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