Agriculture

Tipperary farming: Glanbia must be a ‘leading payer and not just a player’

IFA says co-op is 'out of touch'

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary farming: Glanbia must be a ‘leading payer and not just a player’

Tom Phelan, IFA dairy chair: the farmers he spoke to at the moment were bitterly disappointed with the poor Glanbia milk price performance

A huge level of anger is building up among Glanbia suppliers over milk price, according to IFA national dairy chair Tom Phelan.

He said Glanbia was the only milk purchaser to have cut their pay-out to farmers in both February and March, and was firmly last in the March league.

Feedback from Glanbia farmer meetings and conversations with numerous suppliers clearly showed just how out of touch Glanbia had become as to how important a benchmark milk price was to farmers, he said.

“Glanbia rightly pride themselves in being a leading player in the dairy industry. But farmers supplying Glanbia legitimately expect them to be a leading payer, too,” said Mr Phelan.

And in this respect, the dairy chair said that all the farmers he spoke to at the moment were bitterly disappointed with the poor Glanbia milk price performance.

“As a processor of milk, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland takes a margin of 3.2% after tax, the highest in the industry, which has been agreed with farmers to satisfy their lending commitments to fund expansion investment,” he said.

Mr Phelan said that Glanbia was a complex structure made up of many parts. It was well resourced, as shown by its ability to pay a €14m trading bonus to farmers earlier this spring.

“However, Glanbia must realise that ultimately, farmers will judge them on the milk price they pay every month.

“They must convince farmers that their ambition is not just to be a leading player, but also a leading payer,” said Mr Phelan.