Farmers need a milk price revenue that reflects the market to pay their vastly increased bills according to chair of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) dairy committee Ger Quain. He challenged all co-ops to reflect on the “here and now”.

Quain also said that the ICMSA has been consistently tracking co-op prices throughout the year and the figures reveal what he calls a “systematic and significant lagging” by some processors.

“These co-ops know who they are, and they need to up their game in terms of September price and through the remaining months of 2021.

“The base purchasing price index (PPI) has increased by over 16% from January through to September, while the equivalent weighted average for co-op base price has only increased 12% from January to August,” he insisted.

“We believe that a 38c/l base price has to be the starting point for all co-op both in terms of this month and for the remainder of the year.

“Obviously achieving that is going to be much easier for those co-ops who paid higher prices through peak and into autumn, but that just highlights the lag that some co-ops have allowed develop and now need to make up,” he added.

Some positivity

Quain was adamant that the milk markets are strong with indicators showing positive movement for the last couple of months, and he said there was no prospect whatsoever of any reverse, such as a demand shock.

“Our milk prices need to reflect the here and now, because our input prices are reflecting the here and now and we need market reflecting milk revenue to pay those vastly increased bills,” he said.