A farmer has voiced his frustration and disappointment at a decision made by Glanbia to drop a 0.4c/L support payment from the milk price paid for January milk – which he says is effectively a cut to his “end price” – the overall price he will be paid for last month’s milk.

David Moore, a liquid milk producing dairy farmer from Stamullen, Co. Meath, spoke to AgriLand about the matter, highlighting that he does not qualify for the 4c/L including VAT seasonality bonus, which applies to manufacturing milk supplied in January.

However, all farmer suppliers will be hit by the dropping of the 0.4c/L, he added.

“Last month I got 31.5c/L from Glanbia; this month I’m getting 31.1c/L,” the Meath farmer said, claiming:

I feel that the way Glanbia’s price is structured now is putting the future of Irish family farms at risk.

He argued that dairy farmers are having to get bigger to keep going – which could leave the small family farm model behind.

Pointing to how his father raised a family of eight on a herd of 80 cows, Moore – who now milks over twice this number – said: “My great grandfather and grandfather won quality milk awards in 1952 for supplying Premier Dairies, which is now Glanbia. I have a son who I will not let go into dairy farming. It’s not worthwhile.

“How can they justify the milk price they pay to dairy farmers? Glanbia say they report a ‘very strong payment in the KPMG report’. KPMG report takes the average co-op solids – not the 3.3% protein, 3.6% butterfat.

Glanbia is lucky to have farmers with great land in what I call the ‘golden area of farming’ in Ireland, plus all the training that farmers have done to improve their milk solids. We’re now getting beaten by that stick because Glanbia are able to say they’re paying a great milk price because of our milk solids – because of the farmers’ hard work.

“I’m very worried about the future of family farms in Ireland.

“There are those out there who are not [financially strong] – and they are afraid to speak up because they’re afraid of the embarrassment. Someone has to stand up for them; no one else is going to,” Moore concluded.

Glanbia response

In a response, Glanbia highlighted that, while liquid milk suppliers are not eligible for the 4c/L seasonality bonus, they do receive a liquid premium of 7.39c/L including VAT based on a five-year contract.