Milk prices for 2021 are being finalised by milk processors all around the country as retrospective bonuses are confirmed and annual general meetings are completed.

The four west Cork co-ops that process milk centrally at Ballineen for Carbery come out on top for 2021, followed by Lakeland Dairies in fifth position.

The IFA has just completed and published its latest milk price analysis showing the 2021 milk prices for 12 milk processors across the country.

The analysis is based on the revenue generated in 2021 by a spring-calving herd supplying 500,000l a year to their milk processor. It does not include any trading bonuses, fixed price schemes or forward contracts.

The analysis shows a gap of €7,386 between the highest and lowest payers.

The analysis, completed by the IFA dairy committee and executive Áine O’Connell, is based on milk statements supplied by farmers to the dairy committee. It ranks processors in order of the annual income that would be generated and is adjusted for milk constituents.

Like for like

On a webinar last Thursday night the chair of the dairy committee Stephen Arthur said the purpose of this analysis is to allow farmers to compare prices paid by milk processors on a like-for-like basis.

“Dairy farmers have been working hard to improve their milk constituents over the years. This can give the impression that milk price has improved, when in reality it’s the milk quality that has improved,” he said.

“This has masked the fact milk price is effectively the same over the past 30 years,” he said.

“We believe the analysis will provide more price transparency, and we will continue to publish it on an annual basis,” he said.