Dairy farmers call on Kerry Co-op to adjust its milk price upwards

DAIRY farmers held an emergency meeting in Tralee last night to call on Kerry Co-op to adjust its milk price upwards.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) dairy committees from Kerry and Limerick organised the meeting as the debate on the milk price issue intensified.

IFA National Dairy Committee chairman, Richard Kennedy, said Kerry was more than 2% behind the best milk price payers in the country.

He said the board of Kerry Co-op met last Thursday and suppliers were expecting a price increase.

However, no announcement was made.

“Suppliers have faced increased costs and they know that Kerry has the resources to pay a higher price,” he said.

A meeting of Kerry suppliers in Clare last week expressed anger at the failure of Kerry Co-op to match the top prices in the country.

Kerry IFA Dairy Committee chairman, James McCarthy, said it was about time Kerry Co-op lived up to its promise and paid a leading price for July milk.

Kerry prematurely cut the June milk price and needed to bring it back in line, he said.

Mr McCarthy said it was unacceptable that Kerry Group, one of the leading processors in the country, would be in 9th position in the KPMG milk audit for a second consecutive year.

With continuous rising input costs, Mr McCarthy said, Kerry Group would have to address the 9c per litre gap between itself and neighbouring co-ops.

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