Denis Fagan, Chairman of Fresh Milk Producers (FMP), has told Agriland that the organisation struck a deal with Glanbia PLC over the past weekend, which puts to bed all of the outstanding disputes emanating from the liquid milk supply agreement reached between both bodies back in 2011. FMP is the lobby group representing the interests of the 1,100 dairy farmers, who supply Glanbia PLC with milk for the fresh market.

“I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the agreement arrived at with Glanbia prior to this evening’s meeting,” Mr Fagan further explained.

“However, it does adequately address the working band issue, which was at the heart of our negotiations with the company.”

Under the working band agreement established in 2011 Glanbia’s FMP suppliers would receive an agreed base price while Glanbia’s manufacturing base price remained in the region of 27-32cent per litre. However, moves outside this band would see FMP members only receiving half the fall or rise.

“Given the current state of commercial milk prices, this agreement is totally outdated. I can confirm that the matter has been addressed by Glanbia and the details of the new working band agreement will be discussed in detail with FMP members, courtesy of our meeting in Naas this evening,” Denis Fagan added.

“Initially, tonight’s meeting had been planned to discuss our negotiating position with Glanbia. However the focus has changed to that of it now becoming an information evening, given the developments of the weekend.

“However, I am also mindful of the fact that preparations must now be made to ensure that a full and comprehensive agreement must be reach between FMP and Glanbia, for the five year period beyond 2016.”

Denis Fagan also confirmed that members of the Glanbia board will be in attendance at tonight’s meeting.

“An official perspective on the new agreement will be given to the meeting by the board members present. No co-op staff will be in attendance,” he concluded.

Denis Fagan, who milks 300 cows near Trim in Co Meath, pointed out that tonight’s meeting will be first get full together of FMP members in a decade.

A Glanbia spokesperson confirmed to Agriland that negotiations involving the PLC and FMP had taken place over recent days.