Milk dis­count­ing now at ‘un­sus­tain­able’ lev­els - IFA

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE -

THE IFA has chal­lenged re­tail­ers to halt what it de­scribed as “ag­gres­sive” and “un­sus­tain­able dis­count­ing” of fresh milk and to show real sol­i­dar­ity with em­bat­tled dairy farm­ers.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s liq­uid milk chair­man, John Finn, said re­tail­ers such as Aldi, Lidl and Tesco re­ceived a lot of “pos­i­tive ex­po­sure” from their pres­ence at last week’s Na­tional Plough­ing Cham­pi­onships.

How­ever, Mr Finn said this should not mask the fact that their ac­tions in dis­count­ing own-brand milk was de­press­ing farm-gate prices for thou­sands of dairy farm­ers.

Mr Finn pointed out that as mem­bers of Ori­gin Green, the re­tail­ers were “sup­pos­edly com­mit­ted” to sus­tain­able sourc­ing and so­cial sus­tain­abil­ity in their trad­ing prac­tices with sup­pli­ers.

Labour

“The ag­gres­sive dis­count­ing all re­tail­ers in Ire­land en­gage in on fresh milk ap­plies at lev­els which do not al­low for all the chain’s costs to be cov­ered.

“It is not com­pat­i­ble with a sus­tain­able food chain in which the pri­mary pro­ducer can be sure to be fairly remu- ner­ated for his or her costs and labour. In con­science, es­pe­cially in this year of fod­der and cash flow cri­sis on liq­uid milk farms, re­tail­ers must stop with these un­sus­tain­able un­fair trad­ing prac­tices,” Mr Finn said.

The IFA rep­re­sen­ta­tive called on re­tail­ers to “re-eval­u­ate their pri­vate la­bel milk pric­ing pol­icy” as an act of sol­i­dar­ity with hard-pressed dairy farm­ers.

“They must do so to en­sure pri­mary pro­duc­ers can be guar­an­teed a re­mu­ner­a­tion which will help them keep cows pro­duc­tive over the win­ter, and the fresh milk flow­ing for con­sumers,” he claimed.

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