Farmers protest over milk prices
Farmers Larry Hannon (left) from Kildare and Donal Murphy from Wexford hand out milk at a protest by the Irish Farmer?s Association in Dublin's Grafton Street today. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times
A group representing some 3,000 Irish milk producers reached out to consumers in Dublin today in their bid to get a better deal from retailers in order to survive.
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) claims that those producing milk year-round are making an annual loss of €17,500 due to the high cost of production, in particular the rising price of imported cattle feed.
Handing out free cartons in Dublin city, the demonstrators said they would continue their campaign to educate the public, having already protested at various dairy processors and with a view to targeting retailers next month.
“We are engaging with the public to outline that we are losing money and we are looking for a fairer share of the retail margin,” said Teddy Cashman, a Cork farmer and chair of the Liquid Milk Committee. “We feel that the producer and ourselves are being squeezed [by the retailer]. We are not looking for a huge amount of money.”
The committee is seeking a price of 40 cent per litre, compared to the current 33 cent standard, a small increase they say that would allow them break even.
“To guarantee constant supplies of fresh, high quality milk on supermarket shelves for consumers, liquid milk producers have to produce milk year-round,” said Mr Cashman.
“This involves substantially higher costs than those incurred by creamery milk suppliers, especially in the areas of feed and energy.”