British Milk Undermines Northern Irish Markets

UK - Three days ahead of the next United Dairy Farmers Auction, it has been confirmed to the Ulster Farmers Union that cheaper milk (sometimes known as “distressed milk”) is coming into Northern Ireland (NI)from Great Britain. Crucially, this is at a time when we are approaching the “spring flush” in production and farmgate prices are under downward pressure leaving NI dairy farming unsustainable.
calendar icon 25 April 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Speaking after this had been confirmed, UFU President John Thompson has expressed grave concern at this breaking news.

Mr Thompson said “This is sending all the wrong signals to the local market. This news could not come at a worse time for local dairy farmers. Local prices are already under pressure on a commodity level with the Fonterra auction falling back 9.9 per cent last week and European butter and powder also falling back. With the fact that we are fast approaching peak annual output and with production levels rising, importing even more milk from GB could put further downward pressure on farm gate prices.”

Mr Thompson added: “The UFU has been inundated with calls from concerned local dairy farmers about this distressed milk coming into Northern Ireland. In the eyes of local producers, by bringing cheaper milk in from GB, processors are undermining the market. Therefore, the UFU would call on these processors to look at the milk pool on their own doorstep to meet their processing demands and support local dairy farmers instead of undermining the local market.”

The UFU President concluded: “Going forward, whilst milk has already entered Northern Ireland, we would urge that processors look to meet their purchasing requirements locally. This is the only way local Northern Ireland dairy farmers will receive a reflective price for their product and have a fighting chance of riding out the storm they are facing in terms of falling farmgate prices”.

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