The governing body of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has passed a motion calling for NI dairy processors to end retrospective milk pricing.

“The UFU Executive Committee met last week via Zoom and unanimously ratified the change in milk pricing in NI,” confirmed UFU deputy president David Brown.

Previous month

At present, NI-based co-ops set milk prices for the previous month, whereas when processors in Britain set milk prices, it is at least a month ahead.

For example, in the last week of November, most processors in Britain confirmed prices effective from 1 January 2022.

“Farmers will not know until mid to late January what they will receive for December milk. That is simply wrong,” Brown said.

The UFU argues that setting milk prices in advance will help NI dairy farmers to manage cashflow, and this is particularly important at present with unprecedented rises in fertiliser, feed and fuel costs.


The point has been raised by the UFU before, including in its response to a UK government consultation on mandatory milk price contracts in September 2020.

“There is no good reason for this approach and change is long overdue. Delivery on this simple request would bring goodwill and transparency, and both are needed to give farmers confidence for the future,” Brown said.