The board of Northern Ireland (NI) dairy co-op Dale Farm has agreed to implement new milk component pricing starting from 1 April 2022, the Irish Farmers Journal understands.

It follows a comprehensive review of the business to establish the value of butterfat and protein, with the changes to increments phased in over the next four years.

From April 2022, the base level for butterfat is set to move from 3.85% to 3.88%, with the value for each 0.01% change above or below base going from 0.022p/l to 0.025p/l.

In terms of protein, the base level from next April goes from 3.18% to 3.20%, and the value of each 0.01% change moves from 0.036p/l to 0.039p/l.

By April 2024, the butterfat base will have moved to 3.95%, with each 0.01% increment valued at 0.031p/l, while protein base will be 3.24%, with each increment set at 0.048p/l.

Glanbia Ireland

The changes are similar in principle to those announced by Glanbia Ireland earlier this year and introduced from 1 April 2021 for suppliers in NI.

Again Glanbia opted for a gradual change, and from April 2024 will work from a 3.9% base for butterfat, with increments set at 0.03p/l for each 0.01% above or below, while the protein base will be 3.25%, with increments of 0.054p/l for each 0.01% change.


Lakeland Dairies is the other NI milk processor this year to confirm new incentives to encourage higher milk solids, although it has taken a reasonably cautious approach, with suppliers working from a reference year for fat and protein.

For all new milk solids produced by any supplier above their reference year level, an enhanced payment will be paid for each unit of butterfat and protein supplied.

The enhanced payments per unit of constituents will be 0.029p/l for every 0.01% of extra fat, and 0.056p/l for every 0.01% of extra protein produced. The scheme will operate from January 2022.

See next week’s NI edition of the Irish Farmers Journal for more analysis.

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Glanbia lifts incentive for fat and protein

Lakeland incentivises fat and protein in NI