Co-ops urged to hold milk price

Any cut in the June milk price would be totally unjustified given the Ornua Index remains fixed, the ICMSA has signaled to Ireland’s dairy co-ops.

Mr Quain said Glanbia, Dairygold and Kerry all need to address the fact they are already paying well below what the market currently justifies.

“The Ornua PPI index is returning 22.5 cents per litre for June, based on a processing cost of 6.5 cent per litre — a cost that ICMSA views as excessive — with some processors happy to confirm their processing costs are well below this level,” said Mr Quain.

“Any Co-op paying less than 23 cpl at this stage is demonstrably underpaying their farmers based on markets returns.”

Furthermore, the IFA has written to the co-ops to seek a a firm milk price commitment to year end.

IFA president, Joe Healy, has reminded the co-ops that dairy farmers are struggling to survive following two years of falling milk prices.

“We have very specifically asked co-op chairmen and CEOs to read out our letter to their board members on the occasion of their next meeting, the one which will consider the milk price for June milk,” Mr Healy said.

Meanwhile, one in every 10 dairy farms in England and Wales has closed in the last three years, according to new figures from the UK’s the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The total number of dairy farms has fallen by 1,000 since June 2013. The board says it is concerned about the price of milk currently being paid to farmers.

Some farmers are still paid around 10p a litre less than it costs them to produce the milk.

The highest loss by any UK county was North Yorkshire, which saw 89 farms disappear, equivalent of one in seven. In Berkshire, a third of farms has closed — the highest rate of decline.

Last year, UK farmers held protests over the price they were paid for milk — closing one Morrisons distribution centre with their demonstration.


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