The latest Milk Price Tracker – brought to you by AgriLand and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) – details milk prices from the most significant Irish dairy co-ops for the month of December.
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A cowshed in Jezreel Valley, northern Israel, on February 18, 2017. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** çìáðéí îâôééí øôú ôøåú òî÷ éæøòàì öôåï éùøàì

For each co-op, a green arrow indicates an increase in milk price (compared with the previous month); a blank space signifies no change; and a red arrow indicates a drop in milk price.

It is important to note that the cent-per-litre (c/L) milk prices – shown in the table below – are calculated using the widely-accepted milk pricing system (an approach employed by most Irish co-ops).

It should also be noted that, when calculating the base prices (on a c/L basis), we have used a fixed mass density factor – to convert from kilograms (kg) to litres (L).

The conversion factor used is 1.0297. In other words, 1L of milk corresponds to 1.0297kg of milk.

Moreover, the Irish c/L milk prices – quoted in the table – are base prices at the ‘standard’ fat and protein percentages cited by the vast majority of co-ops (i.e. 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat).

We also include base prices at ‘standard’ European criteria (i.e. 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat).

Moreover, we also include a column detailing what we describe as the ‘maximum attainable price’ – which is based on consistent levels of 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat.

December 2020 Prices

The milk prices in this table (below) are those quoted by co-ops for the month of December (2020).

These tables (below) outline some of the most significant bonuses offered by the various co-ops, as well as some of the key penalties that may be imposed.

The focus is on bonuses/penalties that have the greatest impact on a supplier’s ‘milk cheque’.

With regard to all of these tables (above), please see these explanatory notes (below).

  • All bonus and penalty payments are based on manufacturing milk;
  • A blank space indicates that the base price applies, whereby there is no bonus or penalty;
  • Carbery Group is still paying 1c/L from its stability fund, which is included in its A and B price; Carbery have also decided to pay 0.5cpl bonus on all 2020 milk.
  • Carbery Group pay a bonus of 0.5c/L from March to October and a 0.88c/L bonus from November to February to suppliers who achieve a somatic cell count (SCC) of less than 200,000.
  • VAT rate  changed from 5.4% to 5.6% as per Budget 2021.

Further notes:

  • *1 No penalties will apply to total bacteria counts (TBCs) of less than 75,001 in the months of January, February, November and December. Penalties will apply to TBCs in excess of 75,000 in those months;
  • *2 The Glanbia TBC penalty system is based on points, whereby farmers are penalised based on the amount of points they received in that month over two TBC tests;
  • *3 -0.75c/L penalty for SCC ranging between 351,000 and 400,000 and a 0.1c/L bonus for SCC under 200,000;
  • *4 Milk storage bonus. A storage bonus is available to suppliers with a minimum annual supply of 160,000L that have enough refrigerated storage capacity to cover seven milkings at peak production;
  • *5 22c/L protein bonus is available for every 0.05% protein achieved, above the co-op average protein %, in an individual month;
  • *6 25c/L includes 0.1c/L for the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), 0.1c/L for sign up to milk recording (four per year) and 0.05c/L for sign up to milk recording and a Munster Bovine herd health scheme;
  • *7 4c/L is the maximum bonus attainable by farmers who achieve the minimum requirements for six criteria (TBC, thermoduric, sediment, SCC, lactose and inhibitors);
  • *8 42c/L payment on all milk supplied as a ‘Share of GI Profit’. Member bonus of 0.4c/L as an additional support. This price includes the Late Supply Bonus of 2 cpl (including VAT) that was paid on all creamery milk supplied in December with lactose greater than 4.35.
  • *9 5c/L bonus if more than 45% of May milk production was supplied in December. Lakeland also continued a 1cpl flat bonus payment for December milk.
  • *10 3c/L bonus if more than 15% of May milk production was supplied in December

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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