Independent Comeragh area candidate Michael Flynn says the fact that supermarkets are making more profit from milk than farmers leaves a bitter taste with Glanbia suppliers in the wake of this week’s price cut by the agri-food group.

Following the plc’s price reduction to 21.04 cent-a-litre, “dairy farmers are now losing money from milking cows,” says the Rathgormack farmer, who is seeking a seat on Waterford Co Council.

He claims that “if farming leaders had shown vision and listened to me” they would have been able to prevent such cuts, and says he feels like “the George Lee of farming politics”, having been stressing for a number of years now that farm organisation leaders should have been putting a structure in place to prevent their members’ prices going under the cost of production.

“Large-scale investments have taken place on many farms on the advice of vested interests and now many farmers will be unable to meet repayments because of the savage milk price cuts,” he asserts.

Glanbia’s March milk price of 21.04 cent a litre, VAT included, will seriously damage farming and families dependent on the sector, he adds. “Milk price peaked at 38 cent a litre at the start of 2008 and its new level is equivalent to 44.63% drop in milk price. This now means that millions of euros will be lost to rural Ireland.”

Mr. Flynn said farmers “find themselves in the crazy position that supermarkets and processors are now making more money from milk than themselves. This weakness must now be exposed and tackled at European level with the help of our MEPs, or permanent damage will be done to farming and rural Ireland,” he concluded.