ICMSA say Lakelands’ decision to pay 1.2 cpl below Ornua guide “really unjustified”.

Commenting on the decision of Lakeland Dairies to pay 1.2cpl less than the Ornua PPI for August milk, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee said that a base price of 34 cpl is really unjustified and unacceptable. The Chairperson, Noel Murphy, said that it is impossible to understand how Ornua is paying 35.2 cpl farmgate price to milk processors and before value-added based on current market conditions, while the farmers supplying those processors are getting 1.2cpl below this level.  “And bearing in mind when many farmers are producing milk below the cost of production and every cent is absolutely critical in the current climate”, said Mr. Murphy

The ICMSA Dairy Chairperson said that everyone understands that the market has weakened in recent months – but they must also understand that input costs at farm level haven’t followed the same trajectory. He noted that energy costs have come back at processor level and that farmers can see Ornua paying 35.2cpl before value added with the value-added element worth an additional €6.9m for just the month of August. Mr Murphy said that paying a milk price 1.2cpl below this level at a time when Irish milk processors are already paying one of the lowest prices in the EU is simply unsustainable and raised the question whether the processors were just taking the ‘easy option’ of cutting farmer milk price rather than going out and getting the stronger price from the marketplace that is obviously there, given prices in other EU countries.

“There are a couple of irrefutable facts now that are asking hard questions directly of our processors. Irish farmers sustainability statistics are amongst the best globally; we operate a grass-based system of production almost unique in the EU; we are fully quality assured and we are getting paid the worst price in the EU. There is something seriously wrong with our milk price at present relative to other EU countries and this Lakelands decision to pay an August milk price below the Ornua PPI is simply unacceptable and highlights the need for Co-op boards to ensure that the PPI is the minimum price paid to farmer-suppliers”, said Mr. Murphy.

Ends    13 September 2023

Noel Murphy, 086-3815575

Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office