2,000 Protest in Ireland Over Glanbia Price Cut

IRELAND - Over 2,000 angry Glanbia suppliers have attended protests in Dungarvan last night and Kilkenny today to demand the reversal of the company’s March price cut, which reduced their milk price to 20 cent a litre, one of the lowest prices in the country.
calendar icon 16 April 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Addressing the protest in Kilkenny this morning, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) National Dairy Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy said there was an unprecendented income crisis on dairy farms this year, with all producers receiving prices well below the 27cent a litre minimum required to break even.

“Glanbia is the largest, most efficient milk processor in the country, with a high value added product mix, the benefit of large scale and international businesses which make a significant contribution to profits. The company cannot credibly justify a price of 20 cent when other smaller co-ops, some reliant on commodity products alone, are paying up to three cent a litre more for March, 2009.”

Richard Kennedy said for 2009, the corporate shareholders will have to share the pain with farmers and do without some of their projected profits of €134m, as there is now a social responsibility on Glanbia Plc to prioritise the viability of their 4,000 farmer suppliers. Glanbia must put producers before profits. Mr Kennedy called on Glanbia to immediately reverse the 3.7c/l March price cut.

“At 20 cent a litre, milk producers are at a loss of seven cent a litre. This means that this year, the average milk supplier will be €18,000 in the red. This is intolerable and unsustainable. The most efficient producers would need 27c/l to cover their bare costs of production, to face financial repayments and meet day-to-day family expenses,” Richard Kennedy said.

“Suppliers are rightly furious. Glanbia must remember that, if viable incomes cannot be made from milk production, the very existence of Glanbia, primarily a milk processing company, will come under threat,” he said.

Further protests are planned for Portlaoise and Wexford tomorrow.

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