As winter price negotiations begin between producer groups and dairies, IFA liquid milk chair John Finn has called for significant payment increases as farmers face raised feeding costs due to fodder shortages.

Following meetings with Iceland, Aldi and Tesco and ahead of talks with other retailers, Finn said that "apart from the 2c/l gesture from Iceland, retailers had shown no solidarity with farmers". He slammed milk discouting as unsustainable in the current fodder crisis.

Citing the 75% increase in dairy cow feeding costs forecast by Teagasc this year, Finn said this would be higher for liquid suppliers who milk through the winter.

“Farmers who normally pay their bills over the summer months using the cashflow from their milk cheques will have spent it all on securing fodder and feed to keep their cows healthy and the milk flowing for processors and consumers,” Finn said.

Citing assistance for farmers from co-ops, Teagasc and the Government through the fodder import and catch crop growing support schemes, he urged liquid milk processors and retailers to join in.

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