Irish Processors “Who Already Underpay” intent on ‘Talking Down’ farmer price

ICMSA Dairy Committee

Based on current milk price announcements from Irish milk processors, the Irish milk price seems likely to remain at the bottom of the league in the EU, according to the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee.  Ger Quain dismissed what he called “the current negative vibes” coming from Co-ops as both disappointing and unjustified and he said they are particular irritating given the massive financial pressures on farmers.

“The reality is that across the EU, most milk processors increased milk price for August and September and these processors were already paying a higher milk price than their Irish counterparts.  We’re actually at the point where Fonterra, the ultimate bulk commodity producer of global dairy markers, is less than 1.5cpl behind the Irish processors. Farmers are asking themselves how this is possible?” noted the ICMSA Dairy Chairperson.

Mr. Quain conceded that international dairy markets have come under pressure in recent weeks, but he said this must be put in perspective:” Despite these pressures, milk processors across the EU have been able to increase their August and September milk prices and support their suppliers through the drought pressures affecting thousands of milk producers. The contrast with Ireland is stark and it’s worth remembering that the data already indicates that the returns to Irish processors are higher than the price those processors are paying to their farmer-suppliers. So not alone are the farmers being underpaid but we have to watch and listen as Irish milk processors talk down milk price when our counterpart dairy farmers across the EU are seeing their milk price increase.”

The question then becomes why Irish milk price is amongst the lowest in the EU when we sell produce into many of the same markets as these EU processors able to pay their suppliers more?

“Why are Irish processors – who already underpay compared to their EU counterparts – talking down milk price? If the processors think this is credible than they are profoundly mistaken”, said Mr. Quain.

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