In Ireland, we continue to fight among ourselves on who should pay what and whether Ornua, our central marketing arm, has a future or whether the individual co-ops should take on part of that role.

Another line I was told this week by a board member is that Ornua is keeping some of the weaker processors going and hence others are not getting their fair share of the returns.

The implication was that they are not able to return a milk price equivalent to what Ornua is getting in the marketplace.

Irrespective of the reasoning, I think most agree the solution to the fighting among ourselves will not be solved by launching products in competition to what we already have in the marketplace.

Across the water

Across the water, there is not as much fighting between the processors because processors and farmers are fighting between themselves for staff.

Lorry drivers, factory workers and people to milk cows are all at a 20-year low in terms of availability and it's having serious knock-on effects all the way back to the farmgate.

Some farmers who were three times a day milking are now gone back to twice and once a day so that they can give staff a break, as relief milkers are not available. This will affect supply.

One factory apparently recently asked an agency to supply 20 staff for one day but got one

It has been reported that one factory apparently recently asked an agency to supply 20 staff for one day but got one.

Another ran out of packaging because supply lines are slower than normal.

On the back of the staff scarcity, milk supply is back and looks like it will stay down.

The GDT auction price increase this week was a shot in the arm for commodity prices and those trading dairy products.

Again, the lower supply from some of the European countries that looks like staying below par is influencing decisions.

Yes, the US is supporting agriculture, but, again, feed prices are affecting milk supply in this region.

All of the above - and seasonality reducing our supply - points to price increases on the way for Irish milk price.