Co-ops ‘urged to pass back every last cent possible’ for August milk price

Co-op board members meeting over the coming days to set a price for August milk are being urged to pass back every last cent possible this month and beyond by IFA President, Joe Healy.

Healy’s comments come following a third consecutive rise in dairy product prices at the latest Global Dairy Trade auction and a rise in the Ornua PPI.

On the back of the latest positive auction, he said that farmers would legitimately expect significant milk price increases for their August milk.

The milk price equivalent of the GDT butter and SMP average price has risen to 32.6c/L gross, or 27 to 28c/L net of processing costs, he said.

“The EU average returns reported by the EU MMO for week ending August 28, for the main dairy commodities relevant to the Irish product mix is equivalent to 28.5c/L including VAT, after processing costs,” he said.

IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary said that even allowing for a level of forward selling at lower prices, these continued return improvements will make a big difference to co-ops in their ability to pay higher milk prices.

“Farmers will be rightly expecting meaningful increases in the milk price for August and beyond, and the IFA National Dairy Committee will be lobbying board members accordingly.”

‘No reason why co-ops can’t step up to the mark’

Meanwhile, the ICMSA has said that Irish milk suppliers needed to see a response along the lines of France where dairy group, Lactalis, vowed to average 2016 milk prices at 28c/L.

ICMSA Dairy Chairperson, Gerald Quain, said that if a private entity in France is able to pay that price for August milk, there was absolutely no reason why co-operatives in Ireland could not also ‘step up to the mark’ and make a proportionate commitment.

Quain said that ICMSA would derive some satisfaction from noting that the markets had reacted strongly and immediately to the announcement of the EU Voluntary Milk Reduction Scheme.

He concluded by urging co-op boards to meet as quickly as possible and raise milk price by the maximum possible.

“Every day counts and every cents counts,” he said.