Speaking after last night’s (Wed) meeting of the IFA Kerry Dairy Committee in Tralee, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey said Kerry dairy farmers had expressed strong concerns that, at a time when market pressure is resulting in severe milk price cuts, Kerry Co-op had not taken the opportunity to demonstrate to their suppliers their intention to pay a ‘leading milk price’.
The IFA man said Kerry farmers would have expected that Kerry would, for example, match the
more moderate approach taken by the West Cork co-ops, which held their April milk price before cutting by 3c/l for May, while Kerry cut their price by a total of 5c/l between the two months.
“Dairy farmers in Kerry are concerned that price decisions made by Kerry have thus far this year not matched their commitment to pay a ‘leading milk price’,” Mr Kiersey said.
“Kerry farmers were adamant at our meeting tonight: they want clarity in this area, and I hereby urge Kerry, just as I did when I met CEO Stan McCarthy with IFA President John Bryan and Kerry suppliers a few weeks ago, to clarify how they are going to deliver this ‘leading milk price’,” he said.
“Whether Kerry commit to pay a certain amount over an agreed average by way of on-going higher prices, or an end of year top up, it is critical that their suppliers know what is planned, and can verify it simply and easily,” he said.
“I heard the message from the Kerry suppliers loud and clear tonight: it is not that they do not trust Kerry, it is that, after over a year of discussion on this matter, they legitimately want verifiable clarity and certainty from their milk purchasing and processing co-op,” he concluded.