ICMSA Officers.
Pic: Don Moloney

ICMSA ask Kerry for ‘clarification’ on reported comments on production costs

Referring to comments reported to have been made by a Kerry Group executive in relation to milk production costs, the Chairperson of ICMSA Dairy’s Committee Chairperson, Noel Murphy, called on Kerry Group to clarify its position in relation to the comments made and accept the “absolutely obvious reality” that the income that will be returned to dairy farmers in 2024 – including Kerry suppliers – will in no way reflect the efforts made by dairy farmers.  

“There can’t be any room for ambiguity on this and we – all of us involved in dairy farming  – have to be very clear: a milk price of 41 cents per litre will not return a level of income that is required to keep Ireland’s milk production at its current levels and milk production costs of 30 cents per litre contained in media reports are unattainable and frankly ‘the stuff of dreams’ given where input costs have gone over the last three years and the terrible weather conditions since June 2023. The reality for any farmers today is that based on paying all costs including labour costs and debt, producing a litre of milk is going to cost in excess of 40 cents per litre and if anyone needs evidence of this, then they should go and look at farmers’ bank accounts or even credit accounts with credit suppliers  – who might be their Co-ops”, said Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Murphy said it was simply an observable fact that farmers’ ability to make the improvements and investments needed on water quality were completely dependent on the milk price they were paid and the income that generated.   

“There is an ongoing and crippling cashflow situation on Irish dairy farms and it has been like this for probably two years. Dairy incomes and milk production are way back, and milk processors would want to wake up to this reality fast and start supporting their farmer-suppliers based on realistic production costs. We are surely owed that much and even at that minimum amount of support to which we are entitled, I’m not sure it’s going to stop a slide in milk production that is beginning to look inevitable”, said Mr. Murphy.

Ends          17 June 2024

Noel Murphy, 086-3815575

Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office