Talk tough on prices: FFA

Fearghal McKinney SDLP, Sean Fitzpatrick NIAPA, William Taylor FFA and Sean Rogers, SDLP.
Fearghal McKinney SDLP, Sean Fitzpatrick NIAPA, William Taylor FFA and Sean Rogers, SDLP.

Farmers For Action have stated this week that with the world dairy markets stabilising and strengthening there is no good reason for Northern Ireland’s milk buying co-ops not to pay more for April milk.

William Taylor, of FFA, stated that virtually all the co-ops purchasing milk in Northern Ireland have seen through major investments in recent years and some are still spending on new projects while their farmer suppliers haven’t even been able to fill the recent black hole in their finances let alone see the farm gate milk price reach the true cost of production.

He also pointed to the European Milk Board’s statistics which state the true cost of production at 45-50 cents per litre.

Mr Taylor (pictured) said: “FFA’s advice is don’t go to Balmoral to listen to ‘live old horse and you will get grass’ from your milk buying co-op, let them know it’s time for them to pay 30p/l base price in May for April milk, followed by monthly rises to the true cost of production. Life is too short for dairy farmers and their families and all farming families across the staples to continue decade after decade working for less and less.

“Make your case firm and clear to your co-op at Balmoral - when milk prices crashed approximately two years ago co-ops pulled the price immediately but failed to mention their forward contracts still in place. Now that the price is rising they will be telling you about their forward contracts. Your reply should be this - they cashed that one in already, now its time to pay the piper!”

Mr Taylor concluded that farmers across the staples should use Balmoral as an opportunity to target the large corporate food retailers, large corporate food wholesalers and corporate/co-op processors and make it clear that Northern Ireland family farmers have had enough working under the cost of production and are no longer prepared to be ‘hood winked’ and that change with their incomes is going to be fought for.