AgriLand and the ICMSA launch new ‘Milk Price Tracker’

AgriLand and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) are launching a new Milk Price Tracker.

The Milk Price Tracker (initially) takes the form of a table – detailing the latest (monthly) milk prices from the most significant Irish dairy co-ops.

This table will be available on a month-by-month basis – enabling suppliers (dairy farmers) to track prices paid right across the industry.

Not only does the table enable a supplier to see what his or her own co-op is paying, but they also provide visibility of what competing co-ops are paying – on a like-for-like basis.

It is important to note that the cent-per-litre (c/L) milk prices – shown in the table below – are calculated using the widely-accepted milk pricing system (an approach employed by most Irish co-ops).

Also Read: Milk price: Do you know your ABC?

It should also be noted that, when calculating the base prices (on a c/L basis), we have used a fixed mass density factor – to convert from kilograms (kg) to litres (L).

The conversion factor used is 1.0297. In other words, 1L of milk corresponds to 1.0297kg of milk.

Moreover, the Irish c/L milk prices – quoted in the table – is a base price at the ‘standard’ fat and protein percentages cited by the vast majority of co-ops (i.e. 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat).

We also include base prices at ‘standard’ European criteria (i.e. 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat).

This data has been sourced from suppliers’ milk statements and may be subject to updates/clarifications.

The milk prices in this table (below) are those quoted by co-ops for the month of November (2019).

These tables (below) outline some of the most significant bonuses offered by the various co-ops, as well as some of the key penalties that may be imposed.

The focus is on bonuses/penalties that have the greatest impact on a supplier’s ‘milk cheque’.

With regard to all of these tables (above), please see these explanatory notes (below).

Explanatory notes:
  • A blank space indicates that the base price applies, whereby there is no bonus or penalty.
  • All bonus and penalty payments are based on manufacturing milk;
  • *1  No penalties will apply to total bacteria counts (TBCs) of less than 75,001 in the months of January, February, November and December. Penalties will apply to TBCs in excess of 75,000 in those months;
  • *2  The Glanbia TBC penalty system is based on points, whereby farmers are penalised based on the amount of points they received in that month over two TBC tests;
  • *3  -0.75c/L penalty for somatic cell count (SCC) ranging between 351-400K;
  • *4  Milk storage bonus. A storage bonus is available to suppliers with a minimum annual supply of 160,000L that have enough refrigerated storage capacity to cover seven milkings at peak production;
  • *5  0.22c/L protein bonus is available for every 0.05% protein achieved, above the co-op average protein %, in an individual month;
  • *6  0.25c/L includes 0.1c/L for the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), 0.1c/L for sign up to milk recording (four per year) and 0.05c/L for sign up to milk recording and a Munster Bovine herd health scheme;
  • *7  0.4c/L is the maximum bonus attainable by farmers who achieve the minimum requirements for six criteria (TBC, thermoduric, sediment, SCC, lactose and inhibitors);
  • *8  Glanbia shareholders receive a 1c/L support payment with an additional constituent bonus;
  • *9  3c/L bonus if greater than 50% of May milk supplied in November;
  • *10  3c/L bonus if greater than 30% of May milk supplied in November.

The ICMSA’s president, Pat McCormack, said the new AgriLand ICMSA Milk Price Tracker was developed and designed precisely to meet the demands from farmers for a greater knowledge of how their milk prices were being calculated and how they compare with other processors.

McCormack continued stating that the ICMSA had long been aware of the deficit of information around how milk prices were calculated and assembled and the Milk Price Tracker was conceived to meet that need and to provide further transparency to dairy farmers.

He stressed: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with AgriLand on a tool that we know is going to open up a whole new – and much more detailed – way of establishing what farmers have been paid, how that price is calculated and how that price compares with different co-op suppliers.

AgriLand and the ICMSA have worked together to make this comparison table the most accurate and ‘like-for-like’ that’s available in Ireland.

“We sincerely hope and trust that farmers will find it to be a fantastic aid and comparative tool, and we are confident it will prove to be,” concluded McCormack.