Lakelands pay 43.5c/l for February milk

Farmers supplying Lakeland Dairies have received 43.5 cent/litre for their February milk as trends continue upwards.

While the price the Board of Lakeland Dairies decided on Friday was suppliers in the Republic of Ireland receive an increase of 2.5 cent/litre, it still fell short of what the farming bodies had flagged as a justifiable price.

Lakelands are paying 43.5 cent/litre inclusive of lactose bonus and VAT, for milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein. They point out that on average, the Lakeland Dairies pay out in the Republic will be over 47.19 cent/litre for February milk.

In Northern Ireland, Lakeland Dairies has increased its milk price by 2 p/litre to 34.7 p/litre and likewise say that on average, this will equate to over 36.75 pence/litre, including adjustments for constituents and quality and volume bonuses.

A spokesperson for the Co-op explained: "Dairy markets maintained a positive balance between supply and demand, with a moderation in supplies from other main dairy producing regions. All dairy markets are good however on-farm and factory processing costs have increased significantly."

Last week the ICMSA said that a base price of 45 cents/litre were justified. Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy Committee, Noel Murphy, said that milk suppliers would be looking at some ‘standout’ points relating to the next round of price announcements.

“The first thing we are looking at the fact that the Co-ops have seen fit to increase their processing costs by around 25%: that’s fine and we’re satisfied that the inflationary pressures being felt at Co-op level can explain that. But, by exactly the same token, the Co-ops will have to accept that their farmer-suppliers are experiencing their own inflationary pressures and our production costs are surging by at least the same level as Co-op processing costs. So if they want to show us their adjusted costs, then we can show them our adjusted costs. Putting that together with the market data gives us our price and that’s why ICMSA is saying clearly that every Co-op in Ireland should be paying at least 45cpl in their price announcements for February milk due to be made over the next week”, said Mr Murphy.