Cuts made to the milk price by Glanbia have sparked fury among many in the farming community.
A number of farmers have taken to social media to vent their frustration, questioning the milk cut and calling for some form of protest.
The IFA has also lent its weight to the debate, with dairy chair Tom Phelan calling the price cuts “unwarranted”.
Glanbia will pay its member milk suppliers a base price of 28.46c/l excluding VAT for March and Lakeland will suppliers a base milk price of 29.68c/l excluding VAT.
“Today’s decision by both co-ops is unwarranted. Cashflow on dairy farms is critical at this time of the year, with farmers facing increased costs of production across the board,” Phelan said.
“When you consider that Ornua will be paying a €19m year-end operating bonus to member co-ops, up 27% on last year, you’d have to say the decision by Glanbia, in particular, is completely unjustified.”
Anger at Lakeland cuts
There has also been anger expressed at cuts make by the newly formed Lakeland Dairies, which recently merged with LacPatrick.
News of the cut to below 30c/l will surprise many farmers after Lakelands CEO Michael Hanley recently stated that he was confident the milk price would remain over 30c/l in 2019.
Lakeland supplier Jim O’Rourke from Co Cavan told the Irish Farmers Journal he was disappointed in the cut.
“Almost 1c/l adds up to a serious amount of money for a supplier and it comes straight out of our pockets when we have higher fertiliser and meal bills to pay at this time of year.
“There’s a general consensus that with Brexit on the back-burner that markets would hold the milk price.”
Farmers in Northern Ireland supplying Lakeland will also be concerned as this is the second cut to their milk price.
IFA environment chair and Lakeland supplier Thomas Cooney told the Irish Farmers Journal that within the space of several hours he’d already received a number of calls from dairy farmers expressing their anger over the cut.
“There’s huge anger among farmers who are disappointed a cut to price has been applied just as supplies are starting to rise,” Cooney said.
“It couldn’t have come at a worse time for suppliers and we’ll be calling on Lakeland to ensure that the price will rise next month.”
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