The IFA has called upon each co-op to assess its own internal savings before imposing any further cuts to farm gate milk prices.
The statement comes as Glanbia announces its intention to pay its member suppliers 26.5c per litre, a cut of 1c per litre including Vat, for July milk. Ireland’s latest official figures put the average price per litre paid to farmers at 28c, down from 34c in January and a high of 43c last year.
IFA dairy chairman Sean O’Leary said: “We are asking co-op chairmen, boards, and management teams to undertake an internal efficiency review of all business processes from milk collection to marketing to identify any savings that can be made.
“We are also asking them to explore all possibilities of consolidation, and not to shy away from hard decisions including merger where this is in the best interest of all the farmers concerned and can optimise milk prices.”
The IFA and other EU farm organisations are to seek a review of the intervention ‘safety net’ level prior to the EU Agriculture Council meeting of September 7.
“We are demanding superlevy funds be used to support farmers in this difficult period,” said IFA president Eddie Downey. “We appreciate the support from co-ops and industry stakeholders, and the fact that the milk price in many co-ops was supported in the first half of this year.”
Mr O’Leary cited Teagasc’s warning that a 28% fall in milk prices would see a third of dairy farmers making losses in 2015. The IFA said farmers could not sustain superlevy fines, tax liabilities, repayments on expansions, and share purchases or other contributions to co-ops’ development plans.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved