Gap between NI and GB milk prices

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the gap between the Northern Ireland milk price and the Great Britain milk price continues to widen unjustifiably.

The comments were made after AHDB figures showed a gap of 1.50p per litre in May 2019 between the NI and GB prices paid for milk. Analysis by the UFU shows that over the last six months the average price differential between NI and GB milk prices was 1.75p per litre.

UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt said: “Recent unjustified price cuts have hit dairy farmers hard, especially as input costs, such as fertiliser, continue to rise. What is most concerning is that there are rumours circulating that local processors are planning more milk price cuts.

“Local dairy processors like to boast about how efficient they are, yet they are trailing behind their GB counterparts. GB processors are facing the same market pressures – weak butter price and high volumes of dairy stock in stores, and yet they are able to pay 1.50p more per litre for milk.”

The UFU says processors need to be more transparent when it comes to pricing.

“The time has come for dairy processors to explain why milk price has fallen for six consecutive months and to pay the true price for milk. It is essential that all partners in the supply chain are profitable and processors must share market returns with primary producers,” said Mr Chestnutt.