IFA calls for a 2c/L milk price increase on World Milk Day

On World Milk Day, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) believes that there is scope for a milk price increase, of up to 2c/L, to be announced for May supplies.

Historically high butter prices internationally, as well as more modest uplifts in the prices of other dairy commodities, have created a situation where Irish co-ops could increase farm-gate milk prices, the Chairman of the IFA’s National Dairy Committee, Sean O’Leary, said.

Higher EU-average market prices, five consecutive bullish GDT auctions, rising spots and futures have all created the conditions to allow for a May milk price lift, of up to 2c/L, for Irish farmers, he said.

Static Irish prices into April average out around 31.6c/L including VAT, but EU returns at the end of May would support a farm-gate price of 34.7c/L including VAT.

“Italian dairy economics consultants CLAL this week published the prices of cream, butter and anhydrous milk fat (butter-oil) in the main dairy regions – most at their highest levels in over five years.

“Butter prices in Oceania come in at €4,659/t, in the US at €4,640/t, in Germany at €5,350 and in Italy at €4,680,” O’Leary said.

Strengthening prices

Increased dairy prices have also been reflected by the EU Milk Market Observatory; butter was up a “whopping” €210/t alone in the week ending May 24, he added.

The IFA’s Dairy Committee Chairman also pointed out that all other dairy commodity prices have been strengthening in recent weeks.

“Milk prices for Irish farmers have not increased since February, and we are clear that co-ops now have scope to increase the May milk price by up to 2c/L.

“The IFA’s National Dairy Committee will be lobbying co-op board members in the next couple of weeks to outline the case and press for this increase,” he said.

Commitment to milk producers

Meanwhile, the IFA’s National Liquid Milk Chairman, John Finn, called on dairies, retailers and other stakeholders to show their commitment to milk producers’ sustainability.

Finn called on dairies, retailers and other stakeholders to ensure that milk producers get a fair share of retail returns to meet the costs of year-round production.

Today, June 1, is World Milk day; the day selected to celebrate the important contributions the dairy sector makes to economic development, livelihoods and nutrition, he said.

World Milk Day gives us an excellent opportunity to remind everyone of just how valuable milk and dairy products are to our health and our diet, whatever our age.

“It is also a timely reminder to all stakeholders that fresh milk cannot be taken for granted, and that farmers must be allowed to at least cover their costs and pay for their labour,” he said.

As part of World Milk Day, an initiative launched in 2001, Finn urged everybody to “raise a glass of the white stuff” in celebration.