The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has welcomed the decision by Lakeland Dairies to increase its April base milk price above 50c/L.

The board ofLakelandyesterday (Tuesday, May 10) confirmed that the co-operative’s base milk price for last month would increaseby 3c/L to pay 50.1c/Linclusive of VAT, for milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

On average, the Lakeland pay out in the Republic of Ireland will be 53.02c/L for April milk. In Northern Ireland, the processor increased its price by2.5 p/L to 40 p/L.

Lakeland was the first processor to announce a milk price for April.

Kerry ICMSA Dairy Chair Noel Murphy
Noel Murphy Picture: ICMSA

The chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, Noel Murphy welcomed the decision, adding that it sets “a benchmark for other milk processors”.

Murphyhad previously asked for all co-ops and milk processors to break the 50c/L barrier for April supplies.

“The Lakeland decision reflects the strong dairy markets, while a three cent increase to over 50c/L historically may never have seen as achievable, we are now in an era where it is essential,” he said.

Murphy said that the ICMSA is fully justified in asking milk purchasers to pay at least 50c/L for April milk as dairy market data had clearly shown this and more is achievable.

“It was good to see the first co-op announcement stepping forward in this way.

“There will be expectations that base price follows the positive trends from wholesale markets in the last number of months and continues to push farm gate prices higher over the summer milk price announcements,” the ICMSA Dairy chair concluded.