Based on current markets, the base milk price paid by all processors for July milk must be at least 36.5cpl according to Gerald Quain, chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee.
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Gerald Quain ICMSA Photo: Kieran Clancy © 12/1/2016

Mr Quain said that processors must stop holding back on the milk price paid to their supplier-farmers, many of whom are experiencing substantial cost increases on inputs often purchased from the same milk processor.

‘The facts speak for themselves: the base Ornua PPI is at 35.5cpl for July milk and with an additional €10.05 m paid to processors on top of this, and dairy markets broadly stable, farmers are fully entitled to expect a base price of 36.5cpl for the milk supplied in
July. We think that is entirely reasonable and does not even take into account the demonstrable fact that milk processors have been holding back on milk price for a number of months and increasing their own profits at the expenses of their suppliers,’ said the ICMSA spokesperson.

Mr Quain noted that for June milk, no less than nine milk processors failed to even pay the equivalent of the base Ornua PPI, while five processors were only marginally ahead of it.

‘It is worth noting that this is the PPI that was significantly altered with a higher milk processing cost of 7cpl factored in at the request of the Co-ops. Farmers are entirely justified in asking where the €9.67m Ornua Value payment paid on June milk has gone? This return has been delivered from the marketplace, but farmers did not see its benefit in June – or indeed any of the previous months.

‘We want Co-op boards to insist that management pay out in full the market return, including the Ornua Value Payment. As far as we’re concerned, that translates to a base milk price of at least 36.5cpl for July milk.

‘It’s time – and past time – that farmers got their fair share of strong dairy markets,’ concluded Mr Quain.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has teamed up with Calon Wen, and wants other dairy farms to join in.

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