Farmers for Action (FFA) is endorsing calls made by the European Milk Board (EMB) to have ‘fair farmgate prices’ introduced across Europe.

At its recent annual general meeting (AGM), the board called for the introduction of legislation that makes farmgate prices that are higher than production costs obligatory.

The organisation is also seeking the availability of suitable market crisis instruments across the EU and an assurance from Brussels to the effect that agriculture and food will not be included within the remit of future free trade deals.

FFA spokesperson, William Taylor, said:

“These are the exact same principles that we have been endorsing for many years in Northern Ireland.

“Whereas EMB has a specific remit within the dairy sector, FFA wants these principles endorsed across agriculture as a whole.”

Meanwhile, the FFA has claimed that £8.50/kg is the price that farmers in Northern Ireland should be getting for their finished cattle right now.

Taylor added: “The equivalent price for milk should be in the range 55 to 60 pence per litre.

“These returns will cover all relevant production costs while also allowing farmers to invest in the future of their businesses.”


According to the FFA representative, farmgate returns of this magnitude will not put consumers off buying beef and dairy products in the shops.

“Shoppers did not reduce their dairy purchases on the back of the significant rise in producer milk prices witnessed in 2022. So, there is genuine scope to increase farmgate milk prices with immediate effect.

“Beef price trends are easier to monitor. Traditionally, beef and lamb returns tracked each other. But that link was broken, for no good reason, a number of years ago.

“Today, sheep farmers are receiving £8.50/kg for their lambs – farm gate beef prices should be coming in at the same level,” Taylor added.

The FFA has claimed that corporate food retailers, food wholesalers and food processors are wreaking havoc on the rural economy of Northern Ireland.

This is due solely to the very poor prices that farmers continue to receive for their produce.

“These organisations are behaving completely without regard for whether family farmers have enough money to pay their bills or even buy their groceries on a weekly basis. 

“What’s more, government subsidies are now only worth half of what they were 20 years ago in real terms,” the spokesperson added.