ICMSA’s Gerald Quain
IN THE WAKE of Kerry Group chief Stan McCarthy stepping down the Limerick ICMSA dairy chairman said there has been a very strong relationship between Kerry suppliers, Kerry co-op and Kerry PLC over many decades and “it is important for all the parties involved that this relationship is maintained and enhanced – if possible”.
Gerald Quain, Creggane, was commenting on the shock resignation this week of Mr McCarthy.
“In relation to paying the leading milk price, it is true that this has been a bone of contention and it is essential that the parties tasked with delivering this commitment reach a conclusion as soon as possible and deliver on the commitment to pay the leading milk price.
“Going forward, Kerry PLC will play a key role in delivering a strong milk price to its farmer-suppliers who are also significant shareholders in the business. ICMSA wants and will work towards a good strong working relationship between all the parties and clear lines of communication put in place,” said Mr Quain.
Meanwhile, with financial pressures growing at farm level and with no prospects of improved milk prices in the short term, unprecedented action is going to have to be taken at EU level to bring the market back into balance and to give farmers viable options, according to the ICMSA president, John Comer. He said the introduction of a voluntary supply reduction scheme across all EU member states should be implemented.
“It’s very clear at this stage that farmers have been effectively abandoned to take the hit alone from the downturn in the dairy markets. All other links in the supply chain are insulating themselves and policymakers at both national and EU level are allowing and assisting them to do so. Corporate retailers are taking advantage of increased global milk supplies and are now relentlessly paying lower for product while maintaining their own retail price to consumers.”