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Milk Protest at Kerry HQ

27 August 2008

IRELAND - A large crowd of Kerry Group milk suppliers held a protest at the Kerry Group Headquarters in Prince’s Street, Tralee , to express their dissatisfaction at the failure of Kerry to lift its June and July milk price, and at Kerry’s slippage down the milk price league and KPMG audit in recent years.

Suppliers travelled from throughout Kerry, and from Limerick, Clare and North Cork. IFA Deputy President Derek Deane said: “Kerry milk suppliers are attending in large numbers to ensure that the Kerry Group Plc Board, which is meeting today, understand clearly producers’ anger at Kerry’s recent milk price policy.”


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"Kerry has fallen back to 9th position out of 13 in the 2007 Farmers Journal/KPMG Audit"
IFA Deputy President Derek Deane

“Kerry used to be a milk price leader, setting the pace for the industry, and always paying a top price. Now, Kerry has fallen back to 9th position out of 13 in the 2007 Farmers Journal/KPMG Audit. This July, Kerry has slipped once again, and is paying its suppliers less than the other two big milk purchasers, Dairygold and Glanbia. Kerry’s own suppliers now feel their company is more committed to the stock market than it is to them,” he added.

“Kerry has scale, efficiency and a diversified, high value product mix that puts it in a strong position to pay a leading milk price – indeed it used to have a proud record of doing so in the past. Kerry must immediately pay an extra 2c/l for July milk, and commit to pay a leading milk price for the rest of 2008 and for the future,” Derek Deane said.

IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy added: “Kerry is letting its suppliers down at the worst possible time. Farmers are now faced with massive cost increases threatening their profitability, which they are in no position to pass back. Now more than ever they need Kerry to deliver the strongest possible milk price – but Kerry is deliberately dragging its heels on the July price, paying 1.6c/l less than Glanbia (allowing for their recent 2c/l top up), and 1c/l less than Dairygold.”

“Kerry milk producers are sending a clear message to all the directors of the Plc board: Kerry must urgently revise its milk pricing policy. Kerry suppliers are demanding to be back at the top of the price league. Kerry must pay an additional 2c/l for July, and regain its once proud place as a strong milk price leader,” Richard Kennedy concluded.

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