The IFA is to host a liquid milk rally in Portlaoise, Co. Laois on the evening of Tuesday October 25, according to the Chairman of the organisation’s liquid milk group John Finn.

Liquid milk producers signed up to supply contracts back in June with no price agreed, he said.

“Negotiations will take place with the processors over the coming weeks. Last winter farmers were offered a price of around 40c/L. But in reality this would need to be up at 55c/L in order to allow liquid producers meet their costs and remain sustainable for the future. This works out at an annualised figure for the year of 40c/L.”

Finn admits that a 55c/L price will never be on the table but that producers need a price that is well north of 40c/L.

“Otherwise, we will see significant numbers of liquid milk producers leaving the sector. In fact, we will have a young producer, who has done just that, speaking at the Portlaoise rally.”

Finn believes that a fair and transparent negotiation process when it comes to the setting of liquid milk prices.

“The supermarkets have entered into a bidding process with the processers, where liquid milk supplies are concerned. But, from a price point of view, this is only a race to the bottom. And, in these circumstances, farmers will be the only losers.”

Finn said that IFA President Joe Healy will address the Portlaoise event.

“We are also inviting along representatives from the processers and the retailers. Processers have changed their liquid milk contracts with farmer suppliers this year. But, fundamentally, they must deliver realistic prices for producers. And this will be the focus of the upcoming rally.”

The event will take place in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise from 8.00pm.