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'Liquid milk producers not getting fair return'

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IFA Liquid milk producers not getting fair return

IFA national liquid milk chairman John Finn has said liquid milk producers being under-remunerated

Commenting on the publication this week of the National Milk Agency annual report for 2018, IFA national liquid milk chairman John Finn said it was clear that liquid milk producers were being under-remunerated relative to the value of the high quality fresh milk they ensure consumers can reliably find on supermarket shelves, and the high costs inherent in their production system.

He added that the report also made clear that farmers paid a “flat” price over the winter period stood to lose out by as much as 4.6c/l annualised on year-round contracts when compared to the producers who get remunerated for their constituents winter as well as summer.

“Since the creation of the National Milk Agency 23 years ago, the retail price of fresh milk has increased by 36% (compared to a 78% increase in general CPI inflation over the same period). The price received by milk producers, on the other hand, is only 10% higher today than it was in 1995,” he said.

“Over the same period, the costs of producing milk have increased massively. Fertiliser prices have increased 71%, feed ingredient prices have increased by between 20 and 40%, and energy costs have risen by over 120%. Also, farmers’ hard work has delivered significantly increased milk solids in the last 20 years: butterfat is up 12%, and protein 8%.

"ICBF (Irish Cattle Breeding Federation) has shown a major increase in solids has also been achieved by the specialist farmers calving their herd in autumn,” he added.