November 27, 2009
Higher milk prices help farmers in Ireland
The Irish Farmers Association National Dairy Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy welcomed the price increases announced by a number of co-ops last week, urging other co-ops to do the same and make the most of rapidly improving markets to invest in suppliers' confidence.
He said that, while milk prices still fell far short of break even, fully justified price increases in September, October and even in November will help set the scene for improved on-farm profitability in 2010.
The October milk price increases announced by Kerry, Town of Monaghan, Lakeland, and Tipperary Co-op thus far have lifted their prices over 23 cents per litre (c/l), while Glanbia and Dairygold remain just below 23c/l, according to Kennedy.
He added that markets are motoring on, both at EU and global level, despite the decimation of export refunds by the EU Commission.
While the milk price lifts are extremely welcome, and have contributed to making dealings with the bank manager a little easier, Kennedy sad it remains a fact that no co-op pays a price at or above break-even as of yet.
Some may think that lifting milk prices at this time of year, when there is little milk being produced, is not worthwhile but Kennedy stressed that after the toughest year for incomes this generation of dairy farmers has ever experienced, it is more critical than ever.
With November spot EU commodity returns now well over 30c/l gross, the chairman concluded that it is critical that the Irish Dairy Board and co-ops would pass back every possible increase to set the scene towards a badly needed improved profitability on dairy farms in 2010.