The UFU leadership team is unimpressed with the various fixed milk price contracts recently offered by local dairy processors.

During an online meeting with members on Tuesday, UFU deputy president William Irvine acknowledged that there has been a strong uptake of the schemes but he suggested this could be down to farmer concerns about Brexit.

“To me, they always seem 2p/l to 3p/l below where I would like them to be. I have never signed up to any of the schemes that came along,” the Markethill dairy farmer said.

“Three years is a long time to be locking into what I consider to be a mediocre milk price, but ultimately it’s everybody’s own choice,” Irvine added.

UFU president Victor Chesnutt suggested that the contracts would be more effective if they were shorter in duration as farmers could more accurately forecast their production costs over the period.

“The other thing is a lot of these contracts are for a very small proportion of your milk – some of them are 10% to 15%. At the end of the day, it’s neither here nor there,” he maintained.

“To me, fixed-price contracts would be good if you could have them on a yearly basis and put in maybe 80% of your milk,” Chestnutt suggested.