Gap in milk price is unsustainable, says Ulster Farmers' Union
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UFU dairy committee vice chair, Cyril Orr, commented: “Earlier this month I participated in the COPA-COPGECA Milk Working Group.
“This could be as much as five-pence per litre, which is not sustainable particularly as we approach the autumn and winter months when input costs will increase further.”
He continued: “The seasonal rise in input prices is concerning, and when you add the announcement by the Russian government on 17 July that the Black Sea Grain initiative is terminated, it is causing even graver concern amongst members.
“First signed in July 2022, the initiative has allowed Ukraine to export nearly 33 million tonnes of corn, wheat and other grains, and was a factor in the easing of local animal prices.”
In 2022, Northern Ireland spent a record £1.18 billion on animal feed, which was up 22 per cent from £966 million in 2021.
Mr Orr said: “We are more than aware of our exposure to dairy commodity prices but there is a basket of products which we make, and some are performing better than others - despite the decline in certain markets.
“We urge local dairy companies to take note of this gap and pay the most competitive price to their farmers. Otherwise, our dairy industry could be facing a very worrying final part of the year and beyond,” he added.