The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, Gerald Quain, said that Lakelands suppliers had been contacting his organisation since the announcement by that Co-op that they were raising their October milk price by a single cent to 27 cents per litre to express their anger and disappointment at what Mr Quain described as “a transparent decision to ‘sit’ on the increased market returns and pass back the increases to their suppliers as slowly as possible”.
Mr. Quain said it would be difficult to convey the frustration and astonishment expressed by the farmers who had contacted ICMSA to point out that the Lakelands price- even after the derisory single cent rise – was actually below the price equivalent to the Ornua price index. Mr. Quain said that all eyes were now on the other processors who had better realise that this kind of tactic was laying down the conditions for disagreement and suspicion in the future. It was, he said, simply unfair to expect farmers to sit quietly and passively while being paid a price that was “demonstrably” three cents per litre less than it should be.
“ICMSA is cognisant of the difficulties that the Sterling differential is now causing the Agri-food sector with a lot of exposure to the UK market but Lakelands and all the others would want to remember that we can break-down market returns and do the count on that side as well and when we do the break-down on that side we see that the market is returning 30 cents per litre. We will not tolerate a situation where processors are continuously hiding behind current or developing situations to hang on to monies they’ve already been paid and should be passing back to their suppliers. All eyes will now turn to the other processors and we’d better see some sign that they understand that they will not be allowed ‘sit’ on money that – by any standards of fairness – they should be paying out in turn to their suppliers”, said Mr. Quain.
Ends 14 November 2016.
Gerald Quain, 086-3623041
Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office