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Irish Milk Auction Sees Farmers Working at a Loss

24 April 2009

IRELAND - 51 million litres of milk sold at today’s auction for an average price of 19.15 pence per litre. This is a slight improvement on last months average price of 18.83 pence per litre.

Ulster Farmers’ Union Dairy Policy Chairman William Cromie said; “Dairy farmers with ongoing farm gate prices well below 20 pence per litre are continuing to make a loss on every litre of milk produced on farms in Northern Ireland. This is a very serious situation. Dairy farmers have bills to pay for animal feed, spring fertiliser and the Government has announced plans to increase the price of fuel. Farm gate milk prices are not covering these costs and producer confidence is at an all time low”.

William Cromie said the UFU would be pressing dairy processors to seriously re-think how milk is purchased and marketed in Northern Ireland.

Mr Cromie said; “In the past year farm gate milk prices have fallen below the cost of production. This is an unacceptable situation. The UFU is looking very closely at the way milk is sold in Northern Ireland and we have been pressing the issue with local milk processors. At the end of 2008 our farm gate milk prices were the lowest in Europe; that is simply not good enough. Every possible premium for our local milk products must be generated and the benefits shared with producers. At the moment farmers aren’t getting a satisfactory slice of the cake; they are making ongoing significant losses while retailers clearly are very profitable. Dairy processors must be prepared to be stronger sellers of our produce and pass the full benefits back to producers who must be returned to profitability”.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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