The difference in July milk prices announced by processors so far this month has been flagged with concern by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Farmers supplying the larger southern-based co-ops will have noted with interest the ability of Lakeland Dairies to stay on target with the Ornua Purchase Price Index (PPI) compared to Glanbia and Kerry, according to ICMSA dairy chairman Ger Quain.

The dairy chairman highlighted that both Glanbia and Kerry are some 1.4c/L below the current PPI, which stands at 30.9c/L.

Continuing, Quain expressed concern that some of the country’s larger processors are now paying up to 1.78c/L less on base price than their counterparts in Northern Ireland and in border areas.

In addition, the southern giants are “several cents behind” the west Cork co-ops at present.

Quain said the trend confirmed the belief that perhaps some of our processors that had become the “darlings of the business pages” are slipping behind considerably in terms of the milk price paid to farmer-suppliers.

He said that while no-one doubted that there were some challenging circumstances in the dairy environment at present, such as the looming threat of Brexit, it must be noted that the circumstances are challenging for everyone.

“Some – perhaps not the ones we might have expected – seem to be handling the challenge noticeably better than others,” Quain concluded.