Noel Murphy, Chairperson of ICMSA's Dairy Committee

ICMSA say Base Price Of 50cpl For March Milk “Needed and Justified”

Speaking in advance of the imminent March milk price announcements by the Co-ops, ICMSA Dairy Committee Chairperson, Noel Murphy, has called on all Co-ops and milk purchasers to bring base milk price up to 50cpl for March supplies. Mr. Murphy said that the price is fully justified by market returns while also being required to deal with surging input costs.   He said that 2022 had so far seen unprecedented rises in all commodities and milk products on wholesale markets were no different.  The most recent Dutch Dairy quotes showed the industry standard Butter/SMP mix increased by 2.5cpl in just one week while WMP stayed steady at almost 63cpl using an 8cpl processing cost.  The Butter/SMP combination returned over 65cpl using the same metrics.  The unparalleled rises are having knock-on effects for both dairy farmers in terms of costs of production and the Co-ops in terms of processing costs, so it is no surprise that dairy farmers fully expect to see significant price rises for the milk they supplied in March.


“On average, 60% of direct costs on a dairy farm are attributed to feed and fertilizer and the official statistics from the CSO released recently show that energy costs increased 32%, straight fertilizer is up 170% and feed stuffs are up 18%.  The disturbing part of these statistics is that they are the annual increase from January 2021 to January 2022 with the increases in Feb and March yet to be included.  The increase in fertilizer prices alone could add an extra 5cpl to the cost of production and much of that fertilizer is used in the present months with payment being requested earlier this year than other years resulting in additional financial pressures for dairy farmers.  Farmers cannot be fobbed-off with a token 1cpl increase for March milk; the markets are returning prices well past 50cpl and farmers are absolutely entitled to see their milk price hit that figure 50cpl for March milk. Co-op boards need to recognise reality and realise that everyone else can see the real situation also”, concluded Mr. Murphy.


Ends      6 April 2022


Noel Murphy, 086-3815575

Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee




Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office