The Deputy President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack, has stated that 2.4% increase in the latest Global Dairy Trade Auction is yet another key indicator of strong dairy markets and easily justifies a minimum price of 34 cents per litre for January milk.
Mr McCormack, who is also Chairman of the Dairy Committee, said that if such a price rise was not forthcoming, and in the context of the unprecedented pressures on dairy farmers at this time, that farmers’ patience was now wearing very thin in light of the repeated failure of Co-op boards to reflect the easily verified strength of dairy markets in the milk price paid to their suppliers.
“All indicators are pointing to stronger markets, whether it be the Global Dairy Trade Auction, Dutch Dairy Quotations, Irish Dairy Board Price Index and various other EU and global dairy market indicators.
All clearly show that the prices being paid for milk at farm level is now well below the returns from the marketplace. The situation on many dairy farms at present is extremely difficult – putting it at its mildest - with fodder shortages now a very real challenge for many farmers and feed bills from millers causing immediate and real pressure at what was already an immensely difficult time.
The possibility of getting to grass is a non-runner at present and milk production is well back on last year’s levels. Milk suppliers are experiencing severe stress – both cash and mental – and it’s long past the time when Co-ops boards should have acknowledged that pressure and acknowledged that dairy markets have strengthened markedly by adjusting their price upwards to begin reflecting accurately the kind of prices that their products are fetching on the international markets”, said Mr McCormack.
“Should Co-ops fail to increase the milk price for January then management and board will have to explain to their suppliers why – at a time when markets are strengthening steadily - they have failed again to pass back improved returns at a time when farmers need literally every cent possible”, said the ICMSA Deputy President.