THE reduction in the Irish Dairy Board’s Purchase Price Index from 109 to 106.9 for August is a matter of ‘serious concern’ for dairy farmers whose Co-ops supply the Board.
That’s according to the ICMSA andMr Pat McCormack, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, stated that the firm view is that there is ‘absolutely no basis for any reduction in dairy product prices at this time’.
On the contrary, Mr McCormack believes that there is still scope for Co-ops to increase milk price based on current market returns and there is clear evidence of this in the half yearly profits of our two PLC processors.
“Firstly, while powder prices may have weakened somewhat in early August, they have improved in recent weeks and would not justify a reduction in the index. Farmers now believe that the IDB’s market performance is lagging the market and the Board need to clearly explain the basis for the reduction in product prices at this time.
“Secondly, we now have an index which totally clouds the returns being passed back to Co-ops and doesn’t provide the detail needed What products prices have fallen and by how much?” asked the Dairy Committee Chairman. “Processors know exactly on a per tonne basis what the IDB is returning, but the IDB no longer informs farmers of these prices. The index seems designed to ‘cloud’ or obscure the issue of returns to Co-ops and the IDB need to amend this index so that farmer suppliers get a true picture of the returns from the market place”, he continued.
Mr McCormack concluded by stating that the Irish Dairy Board need to review the price reductions made for August and speedily return to a system of providing actual returns to milk suppliers rather than a publishing a vague index - the calculation of which has not been provided to milk suppliers.
The Association also issued an open invitation for all Offaly farmers attending next week’s National Ploughing Championships to drop in for tea and coffee to the ICMSA Stand at Number 204, Row G.