Speaking at the Offaly IFA Dairy Meeting in Tullamore last week, IFA National Dairy Committee Executive Secretary Catherine Lascurettes urged all co-op boards to match Dairygold, which has announced they would hold their March milk price at the current level.
Present at the meeting were Board Members from Arrabawn, Lakelands and Glanbia.
Ms Lascurettes remarked, “We fully understand that growing global milk supplies have been running ahead of demand, and this has created an imbalance which has weakened dairy market returns. However, all analysts agree that demand does remain robust, and the recent Fonterra auction price bounce has confirmed recent Rabobank forecasts that markets were most likely to rebalance in the second half of 2012.”
She continued, “in this context, it is crucial that co-ops respond cautiously to current developments to avoid damaging farmers’ confidence when longer term trends remain very positive.”
She noted that dairy farmers were facing higher costs as early Teagasc Profit Monitor results have shown an 11% increase in total costs in the period between 2009 and 2011.
“Farmers will also be expected to invest on farm to deliver on milk expansion after 2015, and we estimate this will require expenditure in the order of €1.5b. Finally, most in the industry also expect farmers to make a contribution to the funding required for the expansion of the processing industry, to say nothing of those farmers who will be facing massive superlevy bills in the coming weeks,” Catherine Lascurettes said.
“All of the above depends on profitability and confidence on farms, and ill-judged, hastily decided milk price adjustments can damage both,” she added.
“I urge all co-ops to take a lead from Dairygold this month, and hold their milk price for at least the month of March,” she concluded.