Dale Farm announces cut to October milk price

The board of one of Northern Ireland’s largest milk processors, Dale Farm, has announced plans to cut its October milk price.

Board members today announced they would cut the co-op’s standard litre price by half a penny. It brings the price down from 28.2p/L plus the 0.3p/L loyalty bonus to 27.7p/L plus loyalty bonus.

Just yesterday, cross-border rival Lakeland Dairies announced it would hold its milk price at 27.5p/L.

Cooling market

Analysts had warned that the European dairy market had begun to cool as drought fears dissipated.

Analysis by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that with milk production across the EU showing “little or no immediate impact” from the hot, dry summer, there were “few concerns” over a lack of supply.

As a result, market sentiment had shifted with prices falling for butter and cream.

The latest news also comes just over two weeks after Dale Farm offered its producers the option of a three-year fixed-price to supply an agreed volume of milk at 28p/L.

The previous three-year contract offered by the firm tied suppliers in at 27p/L.

Milk supplied on the contract will be eligible for standard quality payments of Dale Farm Cooperative, as well as the large producer rebate bonus.

Producers can offer either 5%, 10%, or 15% of their supply for each of the 12 months from October 2017 to September 2018 for inclusion as the monthly agreed volume in the fixed price contract.