Milk prices ‘disaster’ for rural economy

ICMSA President Pat McCormack has this week slammed milk prices reductions so far in 2023 as “a disaster for the rural economy”, claiming that €2 billion has been wiped from dairy farm revenues so far this year.

“2023 has seen very severe cuts to milk price and it comes as no surprise to see the spending power of dairy farmers dramatically deteriorate and this is being reported by businesses across rural communities that provide goods and services to dairy farmers and the wider dairy industry,” he said.

Mr McCormack said ICMSA had carried out a detailed analysis to establish the reduction in revenues and said the figures were ‘astounding’.

“With an output multiplier of two for dairy, the total deficit from the Irish rural economy could be €4 billion for 2023,” he said.

The analysis, McCormack said, used an average milk price of 59cpl for 2022 and an expected average price of 37cpl for 2023 with production expected to fall by 2 per cent year on year given the weather and price conditions prevailing at present.

The ICMSA President called on the Minister for Agriculture to convene an urgent meeting of the Dairy Forum so that a clear strategy could be put in place to reverse current trends.