“We have to see milk price being consolidated starting next month.” That is the view of Gerald Quain, chairperson of ICMSA’s dairy committee, who stated that farmer-suppliers would be left “frustrated” by the announcement of further cuts by Glanbia and Lakelands.
He was emphatic that this latest cut must be the last and there could be no question of a cut for May milk. “The cut announced on Tuesday now means that an average supplier will have lost €2,500 on their milk cheques in the two months since Covid hit.”
While Mr Quain said it was pointless to deny the impact on dairy markets of the pandemic, it was equally pointless to deny the fact that there was already plenty of evidence that markets were rallying quickly and that data from others processors already pointed to a strong supply-demand position going forward.
Rebuild milk price
He stated that the farm group’s position was that there was an onus on those who had the resources to take the hit to absorb as much of the severe short-term hit as possible.
Ordinary milk suppliers, he added, were categorically not in a position to take the full impact of the hit and it was, therefore, up to their co-ops to shield them as much as was possible.
“Farmer-suppliers have already accepted that this year’s peak production period – during which they would typically make 50% of their annual income in the four months from March to June – is effectively a write-off for 2020.”
“The question for the co-ops – and the others agencies charged with selling our superb dairy products – is how we rebuild milk price to a level that allows farmer-suppliers to pay bills and make some kind of income commensurate with their workload, skill and investments. That consolidation job has to start next month”, he concluded.