THE Irish Farmers Association yesterday accused some of the country’s main co-ops of a failure to lift their June milk price to 30c/l plus VAT.
IFA Dairy Committee chairman Kevin Kiersey said a price lift would have been fully justified in the face of an increase in the Irish Dairy Board June index to 35.4c/l and European Union gross commodity returns all exceeding 35c/l during the month of June.
Mr Kiersey urged other co-ops to make every effort to pass back the maximum market returns to help ease the huge financial pressures still on their suppliers.
He said the IFA has very actively lobbied in favour of prudent intervention stock handling by the EU Commission during June and early July.
This has clearly helped sustain reasonably stable commodity returns, with butter prices actually continuing to strengthen.
The gross returns for most dairy commodities in June have all remained well in excess of 35c/l, with cheddar cheese plus whey powder exceeding 38c/l.
“If evidence were needed of the relevance of this situation to the Irish commodity sellers, the Irish Dairy Board revised their June index upward to 35.4c/l, leaving clear scope for Irish co-ops to pay farmers 30c/l plus VAT,” he said.
“The failure by Kerry, Glanbia and Lakeland to reflect these facts in the June milk price is very disappointing, and their suppliers will demand the issue be addressed in the July milk price,” he said.
Mr Kiersey said the board of other co-ops will be meeting in coming days to decide what to pay their suppliers for June milk.
“I urge all remaining co-ops to not lose sight of the importance to pass back the absolute maximum possible to farmers who are still trying to recover from the severe income losses incurred last year,” said Mr Kiersey.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved