Danone goes GM-free in the US
The French dairy giant has announced that its main US brands would only source milk exempt from genetically modified feed by 2018.

In the next two years, products sold under Danone's leading brands in the US will exclude genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from their supply chain, Mariano Lozano, chief executive of Danone's US subsidiary Dannon, said last week.

Lozano was speaking at the launch of new health products containing less fat and sugar. He said: "Natural for us means fewer ingredients that are closer to nature, cleaner labels, not synthetic and non GMO. Then looking not one or two but ten steps further than that, also we are going to use those three flagship brands, Dannon, Oikos and Dannimals that are going to come from cows that are fed non GMO feeds by the end of 2018.”

This is the second time in two weeks that major dairy processors in Ireland's export markets distance themselves from milk produced from GM feed in answer to consumer demand.

Last month, Arla Foods annnounced that it would pay extra for GM-free milk to supply retailers in Germany.

Dale Farm cuts February milk price
Northern Ireland's largest milk processor, Dale Farm, announced a 0.5p/l price cut on February milk.

Dale Farm has announced a 0.5p/l price cut on milk for February, which brings Northern Ireland’s largest dairy processor to a base price of 26p/l and includes the 0.3p/l loyalty bonus for co-op members.

This follows Lakeland Dairies' announcement on Monday that it also cut its milk price for February. Lakeland will apply a price cut of 0.75p/l, bringing the co-op’s NI base price to 25.75p/l for last month.

The Lakeland price cut sparked a negative reaction from the UFU, after the co-op held its price in the Republic of Ireland at 30.4c/l, excluding VAT. When applying current exchange rates, this converts to 25.84p/l.

Strathroy has left its price unchanged at 27.5p/l for February, with the outlined price inclusive of a 1p/l winter bonus payment.

For full details on milk pricing, see this week’s Irish Farmers Journal.

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Glanbia cuts February milk price
The board of Glanbia met on Monday to set its February milk price.

Glanbia member suppliers will receive 29.9c/l excluding VAT for February manufacturing milk supplies at 3.6% butterfat and 3.3% protein.

This is 0.5c/l less than what member suppliers received for January milk.

Glanbia Ireland maintained its base milk price for February at 28.5c/l excluding VAT.

Glanbia Ireland has maintained its interim market payment of 1c/l (including VAT) on all February milk supplies (excluding fixed milk price schemes paying above 31c/l).

Support payment cut

However, the board of Glanbia Co-op has decided to cut its support payment to members from 1c/l to 0.5c/l including VAT.

The Glanbia Ireland payments and the Glanbia Co-op support payment will be adjusted to reflect the actual constituents of milk delivered by suppliers.

Brexit uncertainty

“Brexit uncertainty has led to short-term changes in purchasing patterns," Glanbia chair Martin Keane said.

"Protein prices have improved, but market returns have not recovered from the reduction in butter prices over recent months.

"While the recent series of GDT auction results is positive, it is from a lower base and remains below the current Glanbia Ireland price.

"With the market-based milk price currently at approximately 30c/l, the board will continue to monitor developments on a monthly basis,” he added.

Glanbia loyalty scheme payments

Participants in the Glanbia loyalty scheme (GLS) will be paid their loyalty reward with their February milk payment.

Participants in this five-year milk and feed scheme will be paid €30/t on their qualifying tonnes of dairy feed purchased in 2018.

This month’s payment covers the period May to December 2018.

In light of the challenging conditions last spring, an interim payment was made in May 2018 for dairy feed purchased in the January to April period.

Lakeland was the first processor to announce a milk price for February supplies. It held at 30.4c/l excluding VAT.

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Watch: spring calf health series - calving the cow in a normal delivery
Our spring calf health series kicks off this week. Our first video is on calving the cow in a normal delivery.

In this video, Jack Kennedy and Journal vet Tommy Heffernan outline the correct procedure when calving a dairy cow in a normal delivery.

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