IFA Liquid Milk Chair Keith O Boyle has questioned if liquid milk suppliers are getting the best return from the fresh milk market.
“Fresh milk suppliers have to milk all year round and incur significant extra costs of production. Historically, there was a premium on top of the manufacturing milk price in recognition of this. However, this is being eroded. The current arrangement does not reflect the work and investment,” he said.
Keith O’Boyle said the price at retail level for fresh milk is substantially less than products such as butter and powders are returning.
“This situation has been worsening over the past number of years. With the rapid escalation of input costs, it has become totally unsustainable.”
“Without a substantial rise in the price paid by retailers, there will be a shortage of fresh milk on the shelves. This will happen due to a further exodus of farmers from winter production,” he said.
“If dairy products other than fresh milk are giving a higher return, then processors should put milk into those products to maximise the market return for farmers. Either retailers bring forward a price that reflects reality, or they won’t have fresh milk,”