The IFA National Liquid Milk Committee had its final meeting of the year this week, as most producer groups have finalised their 2015/16 milk price negotiations.
“Against the backdrop of the mobilisation of liquid milk producers in an IFA campaign in the last two months, most producer groups have been able to negotiate somewhat improved price outcomes for the winter 2015/16. That said, the average price farmers will receive across the year will still fall around 8c/l short of a price which would allow specialist liquid producers to cover their production costs and pay themselves a modest wage,” Chairman Teddy Cashman said.
“At our meeting today, members were keen to stress that farmers needed to optimise their winter payment, and produce as little additional milk as possible over and above their contracted volume, as this would not be paid for as liquid milk,” he said.
“I would urge liquid and winter milk producers out there to match as exactly as they can the number of cows they will be calving next autumn to their liquid milk contract. Anything in excess of contract will lose them money,” he said.
“For the long term, not only do farmers need to better match calvings to contract, they also need to receive well-structured payments which give them adequate remuneration for their costs and their labour, and by channelling a fair share of stable retail returns back to farmers, will systematically offset volatile base milk prices,” Teddy Cashman concluded.