March 2014 Newsletter

Milk price & supply, Herd Health Programme, Spring Dairy Promotion – Final Reminder, Flexi Milk Allocation, The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS)

18 March 2014

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of February is the same as last month- 39.88 cents per litre (181.28 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat, 3.30% protein and including 0.88 cents per litre Winter Somatic Cell Count bonus and VAT @ 5.0 %.

Milk Supply

The milk supply for the month of February was 5,066,119 litres (1,114,394 gallons) with an average butterfat of 3.98 % and an average protein of 3.22 %. This represents a decrease of 526,602 litres (115,837 gallons) on butterfat adjusted supply from February 2013.

The Co-Op was 1.99% over quota at the end of the February. This equates to 2,661,562 litres over quota. If supply matches quota for the remainder of the quota year, this will result in a Super Levy bill of €762,711 for the Society before the allocation of National Flexi milk. Figures from the Department estimate the country was 1.26% over quota at the end of February.

Herd Health Programme

Each milk supplier will shortly receive details of the Carbery Johnes Programme for 2014. Participants in the scheme will need to carry out an individual Johnes test on all adult females through milk or blood samples and also have a risk assessment carried out by their vet.

Suppliers can arrange a blood test with their own vet or through the Department if they are due a brucellosis test in 2014. Alternatively the herd can be screened by milk samples if it is part of the milk recording scheme.

Carbery are encouraging all suppliers to take up one of the options and will pay a subsidy of €100 per herd to assist in covering the cost.

Participants in the AHI national pilot programme must as a condition of the programme carry out individual Johnes tests and should sign up for the Carbery scheme in order to avail of the €100 subsidy.

Spring Dairy Promotion – Final Reminder

Spring Dairy Promotion as advertised previously must end Saturday 5th April 2013. Get your bulk orders in now for your annual supply of dairy requirements.

Contact Richard Murphy 086-8272057 or David Shiels 087-6863576, our Commercial Sales Reps. or your local branch for details.

Flexi Milk Allocation

The rules for the distribution of unused milk quota (flexi-milk) in respect of the 2013/2014 quota year as set out by the department are:

85% of the unused quota to Category 1 producers (quota of less than 350,000 litres)
15% is allocated to Category 2 producers (quota greater than 350,000 litres).

The amount of quota available to each category will be divided equally between all eligible producers in that category who have exceeded their quota.

For the 2014/2015 milk quota year, Category 1 producers (less than 350,000 litres) will receive 80% of the available flexi milk and 20% for Category 2 producers.

The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS)

The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme

The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) has been developed for milk producers in conjunction with representatives of the dairy industry. Its objective is to demonstrate to customers of dairy products that milk is produced sustainably under an accredited scheme. Information packs including application forms are available for collection from the Central Office. This month’s accounts also include an information leaflet on the Scheme.

Many of our milk suppliers already participate in the Bord Bia Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme (BLQAS). It is recommended that suppliers due an audit for the BLQAS scheme apply for the SDAS scheme also. You can then be audited for both the SDAS and BLQAS at the same time which will save you a lot of time and effort!

If you are not currently in the BLQAS perhaps you should consider joining? The requirements for both schemes are very similar and if you are BLQAS quality assured, your cull cows will be worth considerably more when sent them to the factory! SDAS application and return to the Co-op.

In fact, currently in ABP Bandon a cull cow may be worth 20c/kg more when quality assures which equates to approx. €60 per cull cow! To apply to the BLQAS simply tick the box on the front of your


SDAS audits are under-way. Bord Bia last week reported that there are now more than 400 applicants and 91 audits have taken place across the country. The vast majority of these were also participants in the Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme (BLQAS).

The good news is that over half of the audits reviewed by the Bord Bia Certification Board were certified immediately. The vast majority of the remainder will also receive certification once their issues (which Bord Bia call ‘major non-compliances’) are addressed by the farmer and then ‘closed out’ by his/her Co-op advisor.

Bord Bia reported that the most frequent ‘Major Non- compliances’ are as follows;

  • Failure to have health certs available for inspection
  • Failure to have water test carried out or results available for inspection
  • Failure to have adequate signage on-farm or foot-baths present
  • Dairy housekeeping issues such as dust/dirt build up in parlour/dairy
  • No Farm Safety Risk Assessment present for inspection

As you can see the majority of these issues would easily be prevented and are also all quite easily rectified. Appropriate signage and foot baths are now available from your local branch.

If you need help preparing for an audit or have any questions in relation to the scheme please contact Tim Regan in the Central Office at 028-30800.