THE board of Carbery Group are dipping into their €10 million stability fund to cushion their supplier co ops from a drop in base milk price.
Carbery Group’s base milk price which it pays to the four supplier co-ops has been reduced by 1 cent a litre reflecting global dairy market conditions.
However, at a meeting last week, it was decided to maintain the March milk price for April for suppliers at Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird by using the fund set up last year to support milk prices at times of volatility.
A group spokesperson said: ‘The stability fund created in 2017 was utilised to offset this decrease, and thus maintain the March milk price. This €10 million Stability Fund was established last year to support the milk price in times of market volatility.’
The decision, which recognises the difficult winter suffered by the farming community, has been widely welcomed by the sector.
ICMSA West Cork chairman Tom Wilson said it was welcomed by lots of members who were under financial pressure.
However, he used the opportunity to highlight what he called ‘an unfair taxation’ system leveled at farmers.
‘What we are lobbying for is to set aside a tax free lump sum on a good year, which we can draw down on a bad year when we would pay the tax. So far our proposals are falling on deaf ears,’ the Enniskeane farmer said.
Local IFA chairman Corney Buckley said the move by Carbery was a welcome one after a horrendous year for farmers.
‘The impacts are still being felt in May. However it seems that markets have turned around and that prices for commodities are improving so we are hoping this will mean an end to price cuts.’