The proposal floated this week to announce monthly milk price using the new metrics 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat is simply trying to shine up an old tractor, maybe even a vintage tractor, to make it look that bit better.
Management at our milk processing co-ops should know better.
Our co-op boards should know better, as they are the ones setting the milk price.
I’m all for change, but make the right change.
Euro per kilo of milk solids
Milk in the Republic is paid for in euro per kilo of milk solids, so why not announce the price in euro per kilo of milk solids at the most recent fat and protein.
You get what management are looking for - a recognition that actual milk price is higher than the equivalent price at 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat, but you get it in a modern tractor, not a vintage.
Including another milk price in cents per litre to try to bring more transparency is nonsense
Once you have the euro per kilo of milk solids, you can do all the translation you like after that into making it understandable for the farmer during a transition phase.
Including another milk price in cents per litre to try to bring more transparency is nonsense.
I’m told this price will be in addition to the 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat and in addition to the co-op price at average solids for the month.
Sending the right signals
The sad reality is the farmer is paid on neither of these three milk prices. We talk about sending the right signals - including another signal in the wrong direction isn’t the way forward.
Suggesting the proposed upgrade is to keep up with our neighbours in the EU as the reason for change is a bit of a red herring.
It doesn’t make the price any better to the farmer.
Surely working on the actual price difference needs to be the focus.
They consistently rank in the bottom third anytime I look at the ranking.
We have to be truthful with farmers and send the right signal
Suggesting it also has the backing of Teagasc and Cork Institute of Technology on the back of a report that was published last autumn is again nonsense.
If we go down that road of picking and choosing what we want from any report, then it’s only the farmer who loses out.
We have to be truthful with farmers and send the right signal.
Anything less than that is a disservice to farmers.
Why waste time and energy fighting for something that is consigned to history when we know there are challenges that deserve much greater discussion?