Speaking following the announcement of May milk prices by both Glanbia Ireland and Lakeland Dairies, Gerald Quain, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, has said that extreme anger is being expressed by suppliers to Glanbia after the largest processor in the country announced a price that will leave it still lagging Lakelands by almost three cents per litre on base price, a situation that Mr. Quain said was “astonishing” although he was also critical of the Lakeland’s decision to cease paying the 1.5 cpl bonus it had paid on April supplies.
“It beggars belief that we are expected to accept that there can be such a disparity between two co-ops processing the same raw product for base price. Questions are being asked by ICMSA members who supply Glanbia Ireland about this kind of astonishing price gap; there was a large difference between the top and bottom processors last month for April supplies, but we now see a widening gap between even the middle paying processors and Glanbia Ireland. If you consider that up to one quarter of the annual milk supply on a dairy farm is produced in April and May and assuming that we’re talking about something like 100,000 litres for these two months then we’re looking at a difference of €2,780 between a farmer supplying Lakelands and one supplying Glanbia – we think that is a genuinely shocking figure. And remember that this difference is becomes even more magnified when the comparison is made with the top-paying Co-ops”, said Mr. Quain.
“Dairy farmers are scratching their heads wondering how such differences can occur and they feel – very justifiably – that they are owed an explanation because this loss of income represented by this price gap would repay some of the bills still owing after this spring. Farmer-suppliers are under pressure after what has to be acknowledged as a difficult and very challenging year on inputs costs and the whole situation is made even more remarkable when you consider that dairy markets are moving upwards strongly: in fact, this very day Kerry Co-op have offered 33cpl fixed milk price contract showing what they estimate to be the current and future strength of the market”, said Mr. Quain.
Ends 12 June 2018
Ger Quain, 086-3623041
Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office