Despite growing concern over the potential impact of coronavirus on global dairy markets, the Irish farm lobby maintains processors here can still return an increased milk price to farmer suppliers.
Irish Farmers Association Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan said: “While we are living through an exceptional public health crisis, the farming community depended on processors to maximise returns.”
He said dairy market returns continued positive in February. The Ornua purchase price index returned at least 1.5c/l more than co-ops have been paying for January milk. Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association Dairy Committee chairperson, Ger Quain, said the market returns shows room for a milk price increase on February supplies.
It is absolutely essential that this is delivered for farmers. Most Irish processors are paying less than 32 cents per litre with the Ornua index at 33.7cpl.
If milk processors in other dairy producing regions can return a higher milk price, there is absolutely no reason why our processors cannot follow suit as they are all selling into the same markets.
Mr Quain said there is uncertainty at present with coronavirus but a lot of product has been forward sold and this should not impact on milk price.