Kerrygold Park Investment Must Help Industry Deliver Stronger and More Stable Returns for Farmers – O’leary

Speaking today from the official opening of Ornua’s Kerrygold Park butter packing plant, IFA National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary said this is an important investment for the entire Irish dairy sector, and it must be fully utilised to leverage stronger and more stable returns for the benefit of farmers for the long term.

For the shorter term, he said other co-ops must follow the lead of Lakeland, Glanbia and Drinagh, which have increased their August milk price by 1c/l, 2c/l and 1.5c/l respectively. He added that for some co-ops, including Kerry who did not increase their July milk price, and other co-ops at the low end of the Milk League, lifting the August milk price in a meaningful way would involve more than that. He said dairy farm incomes, and the need for every cent to be passed back to farmers, will be the topic of a series of IFA meetings starting tonight in Kilkenny (see below).

“GDT auction results, the Ornua PPI and EU spot and average quotes reported by the Milk Market Observatory have all made clear in recent months that significant milk price increases would be justified,” Mr O’Leary said.

“While the price increases in July and further uplifts in August will be welcomed by financially stressed farmers, they will not suffice to address their cash flow difficulties until prices start exceeding production costs and volumes increase seasonally into next year,” he said.

“Co-ops must pass back the maximum possible milk price improvements this month and beyond to help relieve the income crisis on many farms,” he said.

Mr O’Leary said there was also a need for Government to come forward with matching funds for the €11.1m EU aid, and to find constructive way to utilise it to help support farmers’ cash flow, bearing in mind that the scheme does not allow for unconditional payments. “We have been engaging with the Minister and his officials on this point, but we need strong action on this now,” he said.

IFA’s first regional Dairy Farm Income meeting is scheduled for tonight, Wednesday 14th September at 8pm in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny. It will be addressed by President Joe Healy, Glanbia Chairman Henry Corbally, Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture Chairman Pat Deering TD and IFA National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary. All farmers are welcome to attend.

Full details of the IFA Regional Dairy Income Meetings:

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