January sees a new era begin for milk pricing in NI as Tirlán transitions further towards rewarding its suppliers for milk quality over volume.

From January to December 2023, the processor has offered suppliers the option of moving to a hybrid model, whereby 50% of their monthly supply is paid on the current standard litre method.

The remaining 50% is then paid under an A+B-C option as in the Republic of Ireland, where A is the value of protein, B is butterfat and C is a volume penalty on each litre of milk.

It is understood the overwhelming majority of suppliers have opted for the hybrid over remaining on the existing payment structure.

In 2024, the hybrid model evolves to 75% of milk volume being paid using A+B-C, before the entire milk pool moves to 100% A+B-C payments from January 2025.


Aurivo is also introducing changes to its milk payments from January 2023.

The value of butterfat increments will increase to 0.021p/l in 2023, rising to 0.03p/l by 2026. Protein will rise from 0.036p/l to 0.053p/l over the same period.

Base levels for each constituent also increase annually. This means suppliers on below-average solids need to raise fat and protein levels to avoid being financially worse off. Farmers with above average solids are generally better off under the new payments.

The west of Ireland-based co-op maintains that the changes have been generally well received by suppliers.

Aurivo suppliers should also note that its winter bonus payment for December and January will change from the traditional 1p/l to 2p/l.

GDT down

In dairy markets, the first GDT auction of 2023 brought little in the way of good news, with the index falling 2.8%, partly due to an increase in the volume offered for trading, which was up 16.5% from the last event in mid-December.

The index price is on par with that of 12 months ago and has now fallen in eight of the last 12 auctions.

Butter fell by 2.8%, with cheddar down 2.7%. Skim milk powder fell by 4.3%, with whole milk powder down 1.4%.

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