Co-op board members urged to hold milk price for March

Co-op board members have been called on to “do everything they can” to hold the March milk price at February levels by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

In an appeal to boards that will be deciding this week and next on milk prices for March, IFA National Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan said:

“There is no denying that the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on dairy demand, international trade and commodity markets is challenging.

However, just as every other member of society, farmers’ confidence is also badly shaken. This is their busiest time of year, and also when their cash flow comes under the greatest strain.

“Every cent for their milk at this time will determine farmers’ ability to pay mounting bills, many of which are with their own co-ops,” Phelan said.

“Global dairy markets for 2020 were looking very positive prior to Covid-19 and the dairy industry would have contracted spring milk into that market prior to the pandemic hitting.

“This should allow co-ops to maximise the March milk payout for farmers,” he said.

“All members of society face unprecedented uncertainty and farmers are no exception.

This is where we need the real ethos of the cooperative movement to work for farmers.

“We are all in this together – and the industry must collaborate to ensure the sector can come through the challenge of the pandemic,” he concluded.