Retailer to pay drought-hit farmers 2 cent extra per litre of milk

IFA calls on other retailers of fresh milk to follow Iceland’s lead

Managing director or Iceland Ireland Ron Metcalfe said fresh product such as milk is a huge part of their business throughout Ireland.   Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Managing director or Iceland Ireland Ron Metcalfe said fresh product such as milk is a huge part of their business throughout Ireland. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

 

Multinational retailer Iceland is to increase the price paid to Irish farmers for fresh milk by two cent per litre in light of the current drought conditions they are encountering.

The company said the extra two cent per litre being paid directly to the dairy farmer will be fully absorbed by Iceland Ireland and will in no way be passed on to the customer.

Managing director or Iceland Ireland Ron Metcalfe said fresh product such as milk is a huge part of their business throughout Ireland.

“This commitment hits the mark on all fronts for the communities we serve,” he said.

The move has been welcomed by the Irish Farmers’ Association. Its president Joe Healy said the weather has been against dairy farmers over the past 12 months. “Firstly by the extended wet period and late spring in 2018 and the more recent two-month period of drought conditions, which resulted in no grass growth in most dairy regions of Ireland.

Specialised operation

“This has placed extra costs of between €5,000- €10,000 per month on the average dairy farmer. Liquid milk farming is a specialised operation which incurs extra costs of feeding, labour management and capital investment. While growth conditions have improved in many parts of the country in recent days, there is a massive deficit in winter forage supplies which will continue to place a huge financial strain on all 1,800 liquid milk farmers in Ireland,” he said.

John Finn, Galway liquid milk producer and national chairman of the IFA Liquid Milk Committee, said the weather has been against liquid milk dairy farmers over the past 12 months.

“Firstly by the extended wet period and late spring in 2018, and the more recent 10-week period of dry weather, which saw many dairying regions receive minimal rainfall from early May, until two weeks ago.”

Mr Mulhall called on all other retailers of fresh milk to follow Iceland’s lead in supporting Irish milk dairy farmers.