‘Difference of up to €1,000 in August milk cheque’ between co-ops for 80-cow herds

The difference that exists between the top and bottom paying dairy co-ops for the month of August – and how that translates into “serious money” – has been highlighted by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting on how dairy processors paid farmers for last month’s milk, ICMSA Dairy Committee chairman Ger Quain said:

“The rule of thumb that we work off is that every 1c/L works out to approximately €400 per month for a standard 80 cow-herd supplying 400,000L.

“If we start looking at it from that point of view then the difference between those co-ops paying 31c/L for August milk and the top-paying co-ops are coming out at around €800 for their August cheque,” Quain said.

If we go back to those co-ops paying around 30.5c/L, then the difference between them and the top-paying co-ops becomes an absolutely enormous €1,000 for just August milk.

Noting that the ICMSA accepted that across-the-board comparison might be too crude and ignore certain annualised factors, Quain was still adamant that “any way you want to measure it”, there is still a “massive gap” between the milk price paid to farmers supplying different co-ops that could not be explained away.

“We’ve nothing against bonuses, but we have always said that bonuses – however they are described or labelled – should only be paid on top of the highest base milk price,” Quain concluded.