Iceland has announced that it will pay an extra 2c/l for fresh milk from Irish suppliers, which has been welcomed by the Irish Farmer’s Association (IFA).
The retailer said that it is fully aware of the challenges that Irish dairy farmers face in light of both the severe winter and the current heatwave.
Frozen And Fresh
It added that the increase in price will be fully absorbed by the retail chain, and consumers will see no knock-on effect.
“Everyone knows Iceland as the frozen food specialist, but fresh produce is also a huge part of our business throughout Ireland. We always put customers first and that means a combination of great value, great products, and a sustainable supply chain,” said managing director of Iceland Ireland Ron Metcalfe.
“This commitment hits the mark on all fronts for the communities we serve. Our mission has always been to offer the best value to our customers whilst supporting our local suppliers. We are set to open our 24th Irish store in Roscommon next week and are looking forward to meeting all our new customers in the Roscommon area.”
IFA President, Joe Healy, has acknowledged the move by the UK-based retailer to support Irish liquid milk farmers who are experiencing extreme financial pressure as a result of the extended drought this summer.
Ongoing Financial Strain
President Healy has continuously highlighted that dairy farmers in Ireland are placed under an excessive number of burdens with adverse weather conditions resulting in €5,000 - €10,000 in extra costs to offset the damage.
“Liquid milk farming is a specialised operation which incurs extra costs of feeding, labour management, and capital investment,” Healy said.
“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.”
John Finn, Galway liquid milk producer and National Chairman of the IFA Liquid Milk Committee revealed that Irish liquid milk farmers operate on very tight margins in normal weather years, with the cost of producing year-round liquid milk recognised as being 40 cents per litre.
“With the reduced milk price in 2018, liquid milk farmers are going to run at a deficit and the extra cost of feeding due to the weather conditions will only exacerbate the situation on farms,” John Finn warned.
“There is no scope to absorb a crisis like this and without substantial support from all retailers and milk processors, 2018 will push many of our liquid milk suppliers to breaking point.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.