His comments came after a commitment from United Dairy Farmers, the biggest buyer of milk in the province, to pay suppliers a significant winter milk production bonus.
“It seems ironic that as the EU’s Voluntary Milk Production Reduction Scheme is being implemented, United finds itself in the position of needing more milk to satisfy the business it has through its Dale Farm brand.
“This is encouraging news for producers – and I hope other processors will follow United’s lead to allow farmers to benefit from what is happening on national and global dairy markets,” said Mr Irvine.
The UFU, which has recently completed a series of meetings with local dairy processors encouraging them to pass the recent commodity price gains on to producers, says the United bonus will come as a welcome cash flow boost for farmers at a time of the year when costs begin to climb.
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He added that he hoped the winter would bring the combination of a higher milk price and manageable costs, but stressed this would not cure the problem the industry has faced for the past couple of years.