Lakeland and Glanbia hold December milk prices
Lakeland and Glanbia are the first processors to announce their December milk price.

Lakeland Dairies and Glanbia have announced they will hold price for December milk.

Lakeland suppliers will be paid 30.41c/l excluding VAT.

However, the processor will pay an extra 5c/l voluntary December bonus to qualifying suppliers.

This is a 2c/l increase to the 3c/l paid last month.

The processor said that year-to-date milk supplies have remained strong and were up by 17% in December compared with the same time a year ago.

Glanbia

Glanbia has announced that it will be holding its milk price and paying members 30.36c/l excluding VAT for December manufacturing milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

This is inclusive of a 2c/l support payment. Non-members will be paid 28.46c/l excluding VAT.

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

“The recent sale of skim milk powder out of intervention is welcome, as it has almost eliminated the stock overhang and improves market sentiment,” Glanbia chair Martin Keane said.

“However, Brexit and global trade tensions continue to create some uncertainty around market direction.”

Ornua's purchase price index (PPI) stands at 107.5 for December. This is equivalent to a farmgate price of 30.55c/l excluding VAT, assuming 6.5c/l processing costs.

Glanbia suppliers will notice that their milk statements are in a new format since last month.

The VAT invoice statement and milk statement are now separated.

The new milk statement aims to simplify how the various schemes Glanbia has are presented.

This includes the 11 fixed-price milk schemes, the advance payment scheme, working bands, seasonality, loyalty scheme and the trading bonus scheme.

The new statement focuses on milk solids, includes benchmarking information and a supply versus forecast metric.

Additional reporting by Odile Evans.

Read more

Lakeland drops milk price

Kerry co-op to offer cash for shares
Members of the €2.2bn Kerry co-op can swap out their co-op shares for cash

Kerry co-op is to offer an opportunity for members to cash in their shares. A board meetingon Wednesday approved the proposal to offer an cash out opportunity later this year, with subsequent opportunities to follow in future years.

Kerry co-op owns 13.7% of the shareholding in Kerry Group, worth over €2.2bn. The average shareholding among Kerry co-op's 13,267 shareholders is thus valued at approximately €167,000. The money paid out to shareholders will be regarded as income and subject to income tax.

Business purchase

The board are also intent on exploring the option of purchasing the agribusiness from Kerry Group plc. Negotiations between the two sides will now be required, as no indicative price or valuation model is contained in the optional clause set out in the contract between the two entities.

Current relations between the co-op and the plc are at a low ebb, following the prolonged row over bonus payments. The arbitration process to resolve that issue has been completed, with both sides awaiting a ruling.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the Kerry co-op share register is still administered by Kerry Group, so their involvement in the upcoming process will be required.

Glanbia Ireland planning €140m cheese facility for Kilkenny
A new continental cheese facility is planned for Belview in Kilkenny and will have the capacity to process 450m litres of milk.

Glanbia Ireland and a Dutch Company, Royal A-Ware, plan to build a new continental cheese facility in Belview, Co Kilkenny, with €140m to be invested.

The new facility is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022 and will have a production capacity of 450m litres of milk annually. There will be 80 full-time jobs created in the new facility, along with 100 jobs in the construction phase.

The proposed new facility will be located at a greenfield site near to Glanbia Ireland’s infant nutrition plant.

Milk from Irish dairy farms will be processed into various forms of continental cheeses at the plant.

Diversification

Jim Bergin, chief executive of Glanbia Ireland commented: “This new partnership will create a new route to market for Glanbia Ireland's suppliers’ milk and diversify our portfolio of consumer dairy products and ingredients.

“Since 2014 we have invested €343m to facilitate a 42% increase in milk production by Glanbia farmers. This proposed new investment is now required to diversify our product mix and to ensure that our suppliers have the opportunity to fulfil their growth ambitions.”

The announcement was welcomed by both the Minister for Business Heather Humphreys and the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

Regional development

Minister Humphreys said the creation of jobs is a key focus for the government especially with the looming threat of Brexit. She added that the creation of jobs through product diversification would create quality and sustainable jobs for the area.

Minister Creed also mentioned Brexit, saying the creation of facilities such as the one envisaged for Belview were a critical response in terms of developing new products and new markets.

Royal A-Ware CEO Jan Anker said the investment would give their company access to “additional volumes of high-quality cheese through a local supply chain”.

Read more

Glanbia launches Truly Grass Fed cheese in the US

Lakeland and Glanbia hold December milk prices

Fast-track visas not in time for calving
It could take six months for workers to gain full approval, meaning much-needed dairy labour won't get here for the peak spring-calving season.

The Government’s fast-track visa application system for farm workers is not likely to deliver people in time for the busy spring period on farms.

Farm Solutions Ltd, the southeast-based farm labour recruitment company, is concerned that it could take up to six months for full approval to be gained, twice the hoped-for 12 weeks.

“Having gained trusted partner status in November, we are investing resources to get suitable candidates.

They must have not just dairy skills, but also language skills and ability to take responsibility,” explained Joe Rowe, managing director of Farm Solutions.

“There is competition in the marketplace for such skilled workers.

"New Zealand and Saudi Arabia can process applications and visas within two months, candidates we have lined up could be poached away.

"The €1,000 fee per candidate is significant, but the 50 permit limit for farm workers is more likely to be a limiting factor and we hope that can be revised upwards.

"It’s a significant commitment to seek labour in countries like the Philippines.”