Milk discounting ‘damaging the industry’
A new discount store has recently started selling milk for a price that potentially damages liquid milk producers.

The chair of the fresh milk producers Jim Mulhall has called the sale of milk at a discounted price from Homesavers as 'cynical'.

The recently opened store located in Mullingar is selling two litres of low fat milk from Strathroy Dairy for €1.29, a price Mulhall says is damaging to the industry.

“Homesavers are a new player in the market and they seem to be trying to attract shoppers from other discounters by cutting the price of milk.”

“It’s devaluing food and devaluing the product we produce. It’s a cynical move and could have a potentially damaging long-term impact.”

'Contagion effect'

Mulhall expressed fears of a “contagion effect” where other discounters could drop the price of milk to match Homesavers’ price.

He cited the previous successful work of organisations earlier this year to get Aldi and Iceland to increase their milk price.

Many dairy farmers have experienced a hike in input costs after tough spring and summer conditions, and are likely to be angered by the idea of retailer cuts to profit margins.

Homesavers and their parent company Centz – which is mainly located in Dublin, declined to comment on the issue of milk discounting, despite repeated requests for a statement.

The farmer's daily wrap: Castleblayney, chlorothalonil and Brexit
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for 23 March 2019.

Weather forecast

Saturday is forecast to be generally dry and bright, with good spells of sunshine through the day and just a few showers across Ulster.

Met Éireann has said that it will be a fairly cool day though, with highs of 7 to 9 degrees in light to moderate westerly breezes.

In the news

  • Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to take legal action.
  • The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.
  • There would be a 9.2% fall in primary and manufacturing employment in Monaghan if WTO tariffs were applied in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
  • There is a mixed bag of weather for the weekend ahead, but it will be mostly cool and dry on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Independent TD Denis Naughten has said that it is time for action on beef grading machines in meat factories.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Balla Mart report.
  • Good week/bad week.
  • Stories from the 2018 Irish Farmers Journal Agricultural Land Price Report.
    Pig prices are below the cost of production – IFA pig chair
    IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said that price increases from the pig factories are not coming quick enough.

    The pig price is around €1.40c/kg to €1.46c/kg since it increased two weeks ago, but for most pig farmers, the increase in price is not coming quick enough, IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said.

    He told the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday evening that the current prices are below the cost of production.

    “With feed costs at the moment, we would want to be getting €1.60c/kg. Feed costs haven’t come down as they usually do. The compounders should be pulling back on price.

    Another price rise

    “We got a price rise two weeks ago and the indications are that we could get another price wise, maybe as early as next week.

    “There is a positive outlook going forward, but for most people these increases are not coming quick enough,” he said.

    The IFA has said that there has been a slight decrease in the weekly pig kill and increased demand, which is helping to put more competition into the market place.

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    Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
    The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

    This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

    Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

    The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

    Rural landscape

    The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

    From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

    Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

    At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

    Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

    Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

    “It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

    "There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

    2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

    'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

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    Agri Aware, the CAP and Micheál

    'Farmers must tell their story' – new Agri Aware chair