A number of Glanbia milk suppliers have contacted the Irish Farmers Journal to highlight that they have received considerably less additional peak milk volumes from the reserve pool than they applied for.

This is despite the fact that Glanbia announced on Wednesday that 89% of suppliers would get between 60% and 82% of what they applied for.

Since 6pm on Thursday evening, suppliers have been able to view their actual allocations on their online milk account and letters were also posted to applicants on Thursday.

There appears to be confusion around what the final amount farmers applied for was.

In a statement issued to the Irish Farmers Journal on Wednesday, Glanbia said it had direct engagement with 900 farmers to “cross-check data”.

The statement also said that Glanbia engaged with the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) to validate cow numbers and subsequently applications were adjusted.

It appears that, in some cases at least, this new application amount was not communicated to suppliers, hence the confusion.

There appears to be confusion around what the final amount farmers applied for was

A spokesman for Glanbia said on Friday morning that if a supplier has issues with the amount of additional volumes received from the reserve pool, they should contact their Glanbia farm development manager and that while a new appeals process is not planned, if there is a genuine error, this will be looked at.

Additional volume

According to the milk processor, a total of 16m litres of additional milk volume per week of peak supply period was applied for by farmers to the reserve fund, which represents an unrealistic volume.

An additional 5m litres of milk volume per week of peak was distributed through the reserve fund, which Glanbia says is a much higher volume than originally expected. However, this represents just 31% of what was applied for.

The results of the review were presented to the Glanbia council on Wednesday morning and the Irish Farmers Journal understands that some council members have sought clarity on the percentages that were communicated at the meeting and in subsequent press releases.

Press release

On Wednesday, Glanbia issued the following statement to the Irish Farmers Journal:

  • "Almost 2,000 milk suppliers representing 37% of our supply base and 47% of our total milk pool submitted an application for an allocation from the Reserve Pool."
  • Application forms had 32 questions across seven sections.
  • 16m litres sought for April 2022 – far in excess of current growth rate.
  • Engagement with the ICBF and validated cow numbers.
  • Direct engagement with around 900 applicants to cross-check data.
  • Applications were adjusted to align with planned cow numbers (more accurate) using average deliveries from the farm (within bands).
  • Each application was rigorously assessed as per the final criteria approved by the independent steering committee.
  • Due to a combination of internal investments, good uptake of the voluntary retirement scheme and improved arrangements with third parties, a reasonable volume of peak capacity was available to the reserve pool.
  • However, with almost 2,000 milk suppliers making applications to the reserve pool, it has not been possible to fully satisfy all suppliers’ requests.
  • In some cases where no reserve pool allocation was received, it was determined that the applicants already had sufficient 2022 to 2024 peak milk volumes to meet their projected requirements.
  • 1,727 suppliers (89% of applicants) will receive an allocation from the reserve pool, with allocations ranging from 60% to 82% of their application (based on the suppliers’ projected cow numbers).
  • This final point is contentious if the application forms were adjusted after they were submitted and if this new adjustment was not adequately communicated to applicants at the time or since.

    Essentially, the percentages being communicated by Glanbia are not what the farmer applied for, but the adjusted figure by Glanbia.