Strathroy Dairy’s director Cormac Cunningham has confirmed to AgriLand that approximately 40 Wexford Creamery’s producers may well opt to start supplying the Co Tyrone based milk processor on 1 April.

“This is the number of farmers that submitted their notice to leave the creamery on 31 December last,” he added.

“At the end of the day, not all of them may actually make the commitment to supply Strathroy. No supply contracts have, as yet, been signed. However, I am hopeful that the majority of these producers will join us.

“If this is the case, then our milk pool will be enlarged by around 12 million litres per year.”

Cunningham went on to point out that Strathroy is committed to offering the Wexford farmers a milk price equivalent to that available from Glanbia plus a top up of 0.5 cent per litre.

He continued: “The Wexford farmers are currently on an A+B-C pricing structure. In a way this is new territory for us as all of the existing Strathroy suppliers, including our Donegal farmers, receive a base price plus bonuses for good butterfat and protein. However, we have committed to maintaining the current Wexford pricing system for those producers joining us over the coming weeks.

“We know that a second tranche of farmers may well submit their notice to leave Wexford at the beginning of April. That would leave them free to supply another processor in July. And, obviously, we would be keen to secure supply contracts with this second group of Wexford farmers.”

The Strathroy director also confirmed that the company is currently paying a base price of 34 pence (42.5 cent) per litre. Commenting on the future prospects for producer milk prices he said: “The outlook for the next six months points to a continuing and strong demand for dairy products and this will be reflected in the prices paid to farmers. It is extremely hard to gauge future price trends beyond a six-month period.”