Kerry Creameries has written to milk suppliers telling them that their milk supply contracts will terminate in 2026.

The letter to suppliers says: “With regard to your existing milk supply contract with Kerry Creameries Limited, we wish to inform you that we intend to enter good faith negotiations with milk suppliers and the board of Kerry Co-operative Creameries to agree a new long-term milk supply contract.

“Kerry Creameries hereby notifies you that your current milk supply contract will terminate on April 30, 2026,” the letter says.

“Should the terms of a new milk supply contract be negotiated they would come into effect after April 30, 2026, or such earlier date as may be agreed.”

The letter concludes: “We are confident that business and milk supply terms can be agreed to the benefit of all parties within the timeframe that now applies.”

Kerry Co-op to revert to arbitration

The news comes following the confirmation that the co-op would revert to the arbitration process over the ongoing leading milk price issue with Kerry Group.

19 months have passed since the arbitrator ruled in favour of the co-op, which was acting on behalf of its milk suppliers.

In a short statement last Friday (April 23), a spokesperson for the cooperative said: “Kerry Co-op Creameries is both disappointed and frustrated by the latest published position of Kerry Group plc regarding the leading milk price.

“While the response and approach of the plc is yet again very disappointing, the co-op is very focused on meeting the essential requirements of our members, those being the payment of outstanding monies up to 2020 and the payment of a top milk price into the future.

“Having assiduously explored all and every avenue with Kerry Group, the co-op is left with no other choice but to revert back to the arbitration process where [the group] needs to finally honour its commitments under the milk supply contract and bring this matter to a conclusion,” the co-op representative commented.