IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan today (Tuesday) said the decision by Lakeland to maintain their milk price at 30.6c/l + VAT was justified by current market returns and was to be welcomed. On the other hand, the Glanbia cut in the co-op contribution to their payout by 0.5c/l, unmatched by a corresponding increase in the base, reduces the payout to farmers to 29.88c/l + VAT.
While farmers appreciate co-op support, current market returns would justify a higher payout than Glanbia is currently returning, and GII should be able to pay a competitive base price without the need for co-op support. Mr Phelan urged all other co-ops to reflect the firmer European and global market returns, especially for powders, and to bear in mind in their decisions the improved trend in global market prices clearly indicated by seven successive GDT auctions.
“Though EU butter prices have continued to ease, powder returns have been firming for a few months. IFA has shown that returns from a number of EU and global indicators at the end of February would return milk prices equivalent to between 30c/l and 32.5c/l + VAT. Indeed, even the Ornua PPI for February is equivalent to 30.55c/l + VAT,” Mr Phelan said.
“The decision by the board to cut the top up without at least an equivalent increase in the GII base is a let down for Glanbia suppliers.
I urge all co-op boards who have yet to meet to decide on milk prices to duly recognise and reflect current firmer market returns by at least holding their February milk prices,” he concluded.