Another Blow for NI Dairy Farmers

UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says a further fall in prices at today’s Northern Ireland milk auction is another serious blow to local dairy farmers. 44 million litres of milk sold at the auction for an average price of 17.82 pence per litre, down from 18.5 pence per litre in the January auction.
calendar icon 27 February 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

UFU Deputy President John Thompson said dairy farmers were now facing serious losses, caused by high winter costs for feed and energy, and low farm gate prices. The Union highlighted that investment in slurry tanks on many dairy farms to meet the EU Nitrates Directive was compounding the financial difficulties for many dairy businesses.

The UFU says the survival of many local dairy farms now depends on the EU Commission boosting dairy export refunds and on milk processors maximising returns from the market place.

John Thompson said; “The EU Commission re-introduced dairy export refunds in January and a further small increase was agreed at the latest EU Dairy Management Committee. These were very welcome interventions by the Commission, but we now need a much higher rate of refund to stabilise the sector”.

The UFU is currently conducting a series of meetings with local dairy processing companies and John Thompson said producers were disappointed that the milk auction price was not reflecting some of the stronger markets which still exist for dairy produce.

John Thompson said; “Dairy farmers continue to ask why prices are so low at the auction, given that liquid milk prices are still strong, currency is strongly in our favour and export refunds are now in operation. Producers desperately need an upturn in prices”.

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