Glanbia February milk price ‘a let-down for suppliers’

Glanbia’s cut in co-op contribution to its February milk price has been described as a let-down for suppliers by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan.

Commenting today (Tuesday, March 12) following the announcement of the first two processors’ milk prices for February, Phelan said the decision by Lakeland to maintain its milk price at 32.06c/L was justified by current market returns and was to be welcomed.

However, Glanbia’s cut in the co-op contribution to its payout by 0.5c/L, unmatched by a corresponding increase in the base, reduces the payout to farmers to 31.5c/L, the chairman noted.

While farmers appreciate co-op support, current market returns would justify a higher payout than Glanbia is currently returning, and Glanbia should be able to pay a competitive base price without the need for co-op support, Phelan asserted.

The chairman urged all other co-ops to reflect the firmer European and global market returns, especially for powders, and to bear in mind in their decisions the improved trend in global market prices clearly indicated by seven successive GDT auctions.

“Though EU butter prices have continued to ease, powder returns have been firming for a few months.

“Even the Ornua PPI for February is equivalent to 32.3c/L,” Phelan said.

The decision by the board to cut the top-up without at least an equivalent increase in the Glanbia base is a let-down for Glanbia suppliers.

“I urge all co-op boards who have yet to meet to decide on milk prices to duly recognise and reflect current firmer market returns by at least holding their February milk prices,” he concluded.