Returns from dairy markets are well ahead of what suppliers are getting. A dairy farmer’s annual income in Ireland is largely decided by payments received in April, May and June – and the costs over the same period. Costs have gone up. Milk price has lifted but only marginally relative to commodity prices.

When co-op boards meet over the next two weeks, the pressure will be on to match the prices the market is returning. Any further gap between dairy market performance and farmgate prices will need to be justified. The job of each board is to road-test the reasoning with management, given all the information available.