Milk discounting now at ‘unsustainable’ levels - IFA
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.
“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.