The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has argued that the price announcements today by two major dairy co-operatives will come as “big blows” for dairy farmers.

Both Glanbia and Lakeland decided to reduce their March offerings for their milk suppliers, the details of which both co-ops revealed today, Friday, April 12.

“Today’s decision by both co-ops is unwarranted. Cash flow on dairy farms is critical at this time of year, with farmers facing increased costs of production across the board,” said Tom Phelan, the IFA’s dairy chairman.

When you consider that Ornua will be paying a €19 million year-end operating bonus to member co-ops, up 27% on last year, you’d have to say the decisions are completely unjustified.

The IFA had been lobbying co-ops extensively over the past number of weeks, calling on them to hold their prices.

Lower returns for suppliers

Glanbia was the first processor to announce its price for March today, revealing a reduced figure.

Glanbia will pay its member milk suppliers 30.5c/L, – including VAT – for March manufacturing milk supplies at 3.6% butterfat and 3.3% protein.

In line with current market returns, Glanbia Ireland will pay a base milk price for March of 30c/L – including VAT – for manufacturing milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

The interim market payment of 1c/L that was paid by Glanbia Ireland on January and February milk supplies will not be paid for March. The board of Glanbia Co-op has decided to make a support payment to members of 0.5c/L including VAT.

Meanwhile, also today, Lakeland revealed a 0.5c/L drop.

A price of 31.56c/L – including VAT – and the lactose bonus has been agreed for milk supplied in March.

This represents a realignment of 0.5c/L on the February price, according to the co-op.

Meanwhile, for Northern Irish suppliers, a price of 25.25p/L has been agreed for milk supplied in March. This also represents a realignment of 0.5p/L on the February price.