Charles O'Donnell and Rachel Martin
LacPatrick announces milk prices for December
The board of LacPatrick has today (January 22), announced its base milk price for the month of December, deciding to break the trend with the other co-ops that have announced prices – at least in the Republic.
The co-op has decided to increase base prices to 31.75c/L, an increase of 0.75c/L plus a seasonal bonus of 1.5c/L. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the base price has been held at 26.5p/L; however, the processor has increased its winter bonus from 1p/L to 2p/L.
All the other co-ops that have so far released their December prices had decided to hold steady on their November offerings in the Republic of Ireland.
It follows a turbulent year for the LacPatrick. The processor had drawn the ire of supplier groups for cutting its October price on both sides of the border, as well as failing to pay an expected 3p/L bonus to farmers in Northern Ireland.
It’s understood the firm needed to make difficult decisions – such as reducing its price to suppliers – last year in a bid to stabilise the business.
Commenting on the latest news, LacPatrick chairman Andrew McConkey said: “We have always committed to our suppliers that we would return the maximum possible price from the market to them all the while running the business in a sustainable manner.”
The board at Aurivo decided to hold its milk price for the month of December, following suit with other co-ops for that month.
The co-op announced on Friday, January 18, that it would maintain its price at 30c/L, including vat.
The Aurivo board acknowledged the more positive market environment in recent weeks, saying it will continue to pay the maximum price to suppliers that market returns will allow.
All other major processors have already announced their prices for last month.
With Dale Farm dropping by a penny for December, it puts LacPatrick second to Lakeland. Lakeland announced it would pay its suppliers 32.06c/L in terms of its standard litre price, plus a 5c/L Voluntary December Bonus.
Northern Ireland suppliers of Lakeland Dairies will be paid 26.5p/L plus an out of season bonus of 3p/L for December milk supplies.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s largest processor Dale Farm will be paying its 1,300 suppliers a standard litre price of 25.7p/L for December’s milk plus a 2p/L seasonal bonus and a 0.3p/L loyalty bonus. The price plus bonuses tally up to 28p/L.