Tipp farm leader foresees exodus of farmers following supermarket price reductions of milk

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A number of farmers are expected to exit the sector after four leading supermarket chains reduced the price of milk again.

That’s the warning from Tipperary’s Pat McCormack of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association.

Lidl and Aldi dropped their own-brand milk products by 10 cent yesterday, with Tesco and Supervalu set to follow suit tomorrow.

Pat says these reductions are making dairying unviable for many farmers.

“My phone is inundated over the last number of months – eight weeks, I suppose – with farmers and huge concerns about their financial outlay, the cost of production, and the price that they’re receiving. 2022 was a reasonable year; it’s probably the first time in 30 years that we saw a price increase at farm gate level – a realistic one. Unfortunately, 2023 sees all the good work of 2022 undone.”

These reductions and climate change demands mean it’s now costing more money to produce a litre of milk than what the supermarkets are paying, according to the West Tipp farm leader.

“We also face unprecedented challenges from an environmental aspirational perspective. Consumers out there need to be aware that these environmental requirements add further costs to the production of a litre of milk. Ultimately, when we now hit 37 or 38 cents a litre, we become unviable.”