Apr 042013


With dairy markets moving up rapidly and against a background of the fodder crisis on dairy farms that is intensifying by the day, the ICMSA Deputy President, Pat McCormack, has said that Co-ops boards must move on milk price for March for two important reasons: firstly, to belatedly acknowledge the rapidly improving dairy markets and, secondly, to provide dairy farmers with a badly needed boost at a time that there are under enormous financial pressure through massively increased feeding costs.

In the last two days alone, Mr. McCormack said that the Global Dairy Trade Auction increased by 14.2% giving a total increase of almost 40% over the last six weeks.

“In relation to the Dutch Dairy Quotations, the butter/SMP combination is now returning almost 42 cents per litre at processing level, while WMP is returning over 44 cents per litre.  The Irish Dairy Board index is at 111 for February and has been there for some despite some very obvious movement on international markets. We note, as well, that dairy farmers were receiving 34 cents per litre when the index was at 109 in 2011.    Thus, even in advance of the market increases in recent days, a price of at least 35 cents per litre is fully justified and Co-ops boards can no longer sit idly by and let milk price at levels below this.  There is a massive and growing financial crisis on Irish dairy farms and Co-ops cannot simply ‘sit’ on the hugely improved returns leaving their suppliers to struggle in their present circumstances”, said Mr McCormack, who is also Chairman of the Dairy Committee.

“In addition to the price rise already due for retrospective market improvements, Co-op boards should be planning for further increases in April milk price based on a demonstrable market trend and give their suppliers a chance to milk their way out of the current crisis.  Co-ops know very well the pressures on dairy farms right now through growing feed bills and it is high time that they responded by paying their suppliers a milk price that corresponded to the prices that the processors themselves are themselves receiving”, concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends     3 April 2013.

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

Deputy President, ICMSA


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office