Co-ops ‘can and must’ switch to positive price approach

Dairy co-ops “can and must” make moves towards a “more positive approach” to milk prices in the future, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Tom Phelan, the association’s national dairy chairman, was responding to the announcements today, Monday, May 13, by Lakeland and Glanbia, that they would hold their prices for April milk supplies.

He argued that it was important for co-ops to “adopt a more positive mindset” on prices, to better reflect improved markets, and assist farmers with their increased cash-flow needs.

It is quite remarkable that, bearing in mind the amount of talking down of milk prices coming from some co-op management teams and boards, the first two co-ops to announce their milk price have decided to hold.

“A more positive move would have been to declare the end of cuts, too,” added Phelan.

He highlighted the reasons that co-ops might consider in re-evaluating their pricing, including lower global supplies, stronger dairy price trends, and improved EU and international powder prices.

In light of lower global supplies, stronger Oceanian dairy price trends – as shown by last week’s GDT auction – and improved EU and international powder prices – exemplified by the lift in the Ornua PPI milk price equivalent to 31.6c/L including VAT – co-ops can and must switch towards a more positive approach on milk prices from now on.

Both Lakeland and Glanbia announced their milk prices for April earlier today, Monday, May 13.

First, Lakeland announced a price of 31.28c/L, including VAT, for April supplies, holding its base price from the previous month.

The co-op also announced a price of 25.25p/L for Northern Irish supplies.

Following that, Glanbia announced that it will pay its member milk suppliers 30.5c/L, including VAT, for April manufacturing milk supplies at 3.6% butterfat and 3.3% protein.

Glanbia Ireland (GI) will pay a base milk price for April of 30c/L, including VAT, for manufacturing milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

The board of Glanbia Co-op has decided to make a support payment to members of 0.5c/L including VAT for April milk supplies.