Farmers welcome higher milk price

FARM leaders have welcomed decisions by Dairygold and Connacht Gold to increase the price they pay farmers for milk.

Dairygold announced a 10.2c/gallon (VAT inclusive) increase effective from April 1 while Connacht Gold decided to raise its price by 6c/gal (plus VAT).

The moves followed continued buoyancy from dairy markets across a range of products.

Dairygold chairman John Walshe said the co-op is an efficient low-cost milk processor and is therefore in a position to move responsively on milk price when markets behave positively.

“Our milk processing objective is to maximise the sustainable return to each farmer for each gallon of milk supplied. This will be achieved by the efficient processing of commodities and a relentless movement to improve the dairy product mix,” he said.

“We are equally committed to the provision of a range of vital farm services and the most competitive prices possible for feedstuffs and other farm suppliers; all to ensure that members have the potential to maximise income from farming.”

Mr Walsh said that in its new structure, Dairygold Co-op is a dynamic business, with a healthy balance sheet, substantial financial assets and little net borrowing. He said Dairygold is looking at significant investment in its milk processing and product innovation operations.

IFA Dairy Committee chairman Richard Kennedy said both Dairygold and Connacht Gold co-ops have increased their milk price by more than any other milk purchaser so far this year. However, these increases still fall short of reflecting the full extent of April market gains.

Dominic Cronin, ICMSA Dairy Committee chairman, also welcomed the increases but said they did not fully reflect the improvement in the dairy markets globally or the on-account price being paid to the co-ops by the Irish Dairy Board.

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