Lakeland Dairies has become the latest processor to reveal its milk price for April, announcing a reduced price on last month.

Following a meeting of the board today, Wednesday, May 13, the co-op announced that it will pay its suppliers in the republic 29c/L including VAT for milk supplied in April.

This is a reduction of 1c/L on the March milk price, with the cessation of the Lakeland Dairies Lactose Bonus.

In Northern Ireland, a base price of 23p/L will be paid for April milk. This is a reduction of 0.75p/L on the March price.

Commenting on the price, Lakeland Dairies said the global dairy markets continue to feel the effects of the Covid-19 fallout.

“The ongoing shutdown of the foodservice sector across Europe continues to cast a shadow on the global dairy markets,” a spokesperson said.

“With milk destined for foodservice flooding into butters and powders, returns for all dairy products are back significantly with a weak European sentiment as a result of COVID-19 hampering any recovery.

Butter and skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices are now at their lowest since 2016.

“With any sort of recovery looking slow and prolonged, Lakeland Dairies will continue to monitor the market closely in the coming days and weeks,” the representative concluded.

Covid-19 impact

Following on from the news last month that the co-op temporarily laid off 140 staff at its processing facility in Killeshandra, Co. Cavan, due to the ongoing consequences of Covid-19 on dairy markets, AgriLand understands that some 20 employees returned to work in ice cream in recent weeks.

Following the announcement in April, the co-operative’s executive team also saw a reduction in salaries in a bid to lessen the overall impact during this turbulent period for the sector.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the co-op said: “Lakeland Dairies is reviewing the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland respective governments’ return to work policies and we are evaluating their impacts on our business.”