IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has welcomed the inclusion, for the first time, of an estimate of farmers’ own labour costs in the analysis of the Teagasc 2016 Profit Monitor.
Sean O’Leary said this move by Teagasc follows an 18 month campaign undertaken by IFA. He said, importantly, this will also be reflected in the National Farm Survey when it is published in the next month or two.
“It has been a major bugbear to farmers that their own labour has gone unaccounted for, and literally not valued, for so long, in the assessment of their costs and their margins. This Teagasc exercise makes a real attempt at assessing the average number of hours worked, and putting a value (€15/hour) on these hours,” he said.
This is really important when it comes to strengthening farmers’ hand when they make the case for getting fair value for their produce.
“I believe, however, that the real value of this calculation will come into its own in the National Farm Survey. The Profit Monitor, while a valuable benchmarking exercise which helps farmers improve their own performances, is not representative of the average overall financial performance of Irish dairy farms – unlike the National Farm Survey,” he said.
“It is important that, we would continue to be able to compare our competitiveness on production costs using the long established international procedures and protocols. However, to present the buyers of our products, including retailers, the full picture of the economics of farming, it is crucial that we would have a credible assessment of the farmers’ own labour – which is what this new Teagasc exercise gives us,” Sean O’Leary concluded.