‘Processors must respond on dairy markets’

William Irwin MLA is pictured with one of the contentious anti-dairy billboards in Armagh City and also with one of his dairy cows which he says"clearly shows just how much care dairy cows receive".
William Irwin MLA is pictured with one of the contentious anti-dairy billboards in Armagh City and also with one of his dairy cows which he says"clearly shows just how much care dairy cows receive".

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has said that dairy processors must step up to the mark on milk prices in response to what is the fifth consecutive price rise in Global Dairy Trade.

Mr Irwin pointed to the fact that Global Dairy Trade in New Zealand was up by 1.8% and with this being the fifth consecutive rise, he argued “excuses from processors for not passing this on were wearing thin for farmers.”

He stated: “We have been here before unfortunately, whereby processors have been very slow to react to these improving market conditions with no benefit being passed on to the farmer.

“That shouldn’t be the case and especially with five consecutive prices rises, the excuses from processors are wearing very thin. The current base prices being offered by processors are very disappointing given the market sentiment. They really need to ask themselves how this is in anyway assisting our wider dairy sector.”

He added: “Whilst global market conditions dictate the pace for our dairy sector, it is of utmost importance that any improvements in market conditions are passed on quickly to farmers.

“We are in the winter dairy production phase and that means higher production costs given that animals are indoors and there is a lot more work involved.

“Of course as I have highlighted before low farm gate prices across many sectors this year including beef and lamb has been extremely demoralising for our farmers, leaving many asking what does the future hold for farmers.

“The reality is consumers and processors need the food we produce. All we ask in return is a fair price.”