Northern Co-ops Must Pay Up to Secure Supplies

IRELAND - Speaking at the Virginia Agricultural Show in Co. Cavan today, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy said there was a pressing case for co-ops in the Northern and Western parts of the country to take out costs as the milk prices tended to be lower than further South.
calendar icon 20 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

“At a recent meeting, our local County Dairy Committee Chairmen themselves identified the necessity for milk purchasers to co-operate more on areas such as farm milk collection, bulk milk transport and milk processing in particular,” he said.

The North and West accounts for 1.1 billion litres, or 20%, of the national milk pool, which is collected by a dozen purchasers.

Mr Kennedy said “With milk prices under pressure again, greater market volatility, massive farm production cost increases and the end of milk quotas on the horizon for 2015, there is no time to be wasted in parish pump politics.”

He said, “Co-ops in the region must come together to take cost out, reduce their fuel bills by co-ordinating milk transport from farms and to processing facilities, improve processing efficiency by pooling and/or mothballing plants, and invest in common to increase the value they add to their suppliers’ milk. I am very encouraged that, under the auspices of ICOS, co-ops countrywide are now working towards centralising milk testing, and I believe this will set an important precedent for other areas of co-operation in the industry.”

“There is no time to lose. Co-ops in the Northern and Western regions cannot take their milk suppliers for granted. They must work towards securing milk production in the region. This will only happen if farmers are paid a milk price that is at all times competitive with the best payers,” he concluded.

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