Year-end payment must be assessed

Year-end payment must be assessed

Year-end payment must be assessed

Speaking from Brussels, where he attended the last COPA dairy meeting of 2010, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey said European farmers had continued to see their milk prices increase right through the Autumn. Mr Kiersey urged all Irish co-op board members at their December meeting to critically assess their scope to make an additional end of year payment to suppliers.

He added that it was also crucial for co-ops to maintain price stability well into 2011, as sustaining farmer confidence would be essential to ensure they can play their fullest part in planning for and contributing towards expansion over the coming years.

Mr Kiersey said, "Despite some volatility in commodity returns, average EU milk prices have continued to rise throughout the autumn. In contrast to Irish milk prices, which have languished since May or June at around 28.5 c/l + VAT, I understand from our Dutch colleagues who write the LTO milk price review that the average EU milk prices have increased by 15.5% from May to September, to a level of 33.05c/kg. This is equivalent to around 30.6c/l + VAT at Irish 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat constituents. In addition to this, Friesland Campina in the Netherlands have increased milk prices both in October and November to a current level of 35.65c/kg."

"I believe most co-ops have some scope to make an end of year payment. All board members must ensure this point is put on the agenda for their December meetings, and must plan for milk price stability well into 2011," he concluded.