Commenting on the March milk price announcements made thus far, ICMSA’s Dairy Committee Chairperson, Gerald Quain, said that farmers were entitled to be both cynical and very angry about milk price given the decision of two of the states biggest milk processors to cut their milk price.
“It is an extraordinary situation where the Ornua PPI can rise month after month with either no corresponding rise in farmer milk price or price rises that are wholly insufficient proportionate to the rise in the Index. We then see a marginal fall in the Index that is largely explicable by factors outside dairy markets – Brexit being the obvious one – and literally that week farmers see their milk price cut”, said the ICMSA Dairy Chairperson.
“The plain fact is that Irish Co-ops have been lagging near the bottom of the European milk price table for a very considerable time and they are already underpaying on any kind of ‘like-for-like’ comparison with their European counterparts. So ICMSA will not accept the idea that a fall in the Ornua PPI immediately translates back into a cut in farmer price. The Co-ops will have to explain why increases in the Index rarely seem to benefit farmers immediately but falls seem to be passed back to farmer milk price instantly”, continued Mr. Quain.
“Two things have to happen: those Co-ops who have not yet announced their March price need to state that their farmer prices will not be cut. They need to show their farmer-suppliers that they are not always looking for an opportunity to cut farmer price while looking for an excuse not to raise farmer price when the Ornua PPI goes up. The second thing we need to see is an announcement by both Glanbia and Lakelands that they will review last week’s decision immediately with a view to reversing it. The decision is intolerable and will be greatly resented by their farmer-suppliers”, he said.
Ends 15 April 2019
Gerald Quain, 086-3623041
Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office