Glanbia must show flexibility with fixed price scheme – IFA

An Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) delegation of county dairy chairmen from the Glanbia area, led by IFA National Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan held a meeting with Glanbia management today, Friday, November 29.

Up for discussion was the latest Glanbia Fixed Price Scheme, which the IFA claims is proving “very contentious with farmers” who have just a week to apply.

A key sticking point in the scheme was highlighted by the farming organisation: To be granted volumes at the guaranteed 31c/L including VAT for the year, farmers must tick a box committing them to trade with Glanbia Ireland to the value of at least 5c on their full 2020 supply.

“We appreciated our request for a meeting with Glanbia management being facilitated on short notice,” Phelan said.

While Glanbia point out the scheme is voluntary, we have made it clear that farmers find the requirement to trade 5c/L with Glanbia on all milk coercive, and they are fearful that if they don’t reach that level, they simply will not get any volume.

“We in IFA have recognised and praised Glanbia’s innovation in providing farmers with the valuable income risk management instruments that are fixed milk price contracts.”

The dairy chairman noted that his delegation was told by Glanbia that the majority of its suppliers “already trade in excess of 5c/L with Glanbia”.

He added: “Inflexibility on an unnecessary detail of the scheme cannot damage what should be a positive relationship with their farmer members.

“Glanbia Ireland is already providing input trading incentives and loyalty schemes to encourage farmers to do business with them.

Offering a good value service and competitively priced inputs should more than suffice to optimise their agribusiness trade.

“I urge Glanbia management, as was stated today, to take away our comments and reflect on them, and to apply flexibility on the trading requirement,” Phelan concluded.