The Ulster Farmers Union has urged dairy processors to end retrospective milk pricing.
This follows an “unanimous” decision by its executive to support calls for change.
The farm group believes this would be fairer and would bring Northern Ireland (NI) into line with “best practice” elsewhere in the UK.
Retrospective milk pricing
In a statement on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, UFU deputy president David Brown said:
“The UFU executive committee met last week via Zoom and unanimously ratified the change in milk pricing in NI.”
“Prior to the executive’s decision, the UFU dairy committee agreed to end retrospective milk pricing and met with dairy processors, only for it to be dismissed by them.”
“At the beginning of November, First Milk, a GB based cooperative, announced the price their farmers would receive for milk produced in December.”
“But here, farmers will not know until mid to late January what they will receive for December milk. That is simply wrong.”
He added that with fertiliser, fuel and other costs rising, it is “vital” that farmers know what processors are paying in advance.
“This is key to managing cash flows. However, under current pricing arrangements, something as simple and logical as that is impossible.”
UFU outlined that dairy farmers would see moves to end retrospective milk pricing as a commitment and a “sign of goodwill”.
“We are the only part of the UK where this flawed payment system is the norm.”
“Dairy is the only farming sector here where price calculations are retrospective. There is no good reason for this approach, and change is long overdue.”
“Delivery on this simple request would bring goodwill and transparency. Both are needed to give farmers confidence for the future,” the UFU deputy president concluded.
Meanwhile, the IFA has called on milk processors to break the 40c/L price barrier for November milk supplies.
Ornua has announced the PPI (Purchase Price Index) for November, demonstrating what the farm group has regarded as “impressive gains” in milk price since October.
“At 131.9, the milk price equivalent is 40.3cpl. This rises to 44.31cpl when adjusted to include the Ornua Value Payment.”
Read more on this farming news story.