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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 30 Apr 1969

Vol. 240 No. 2

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Creamery Milk Prices.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if it is a fact that prices being paid to dairy farmers for milk supplied to creameries vary by as much as five pence per gallon; and, if so, what steps he is taking to ensure that equal prices are paid to all producers.

The prices paid for milk by individual creameries vary, since they reflect such factors as relative throughput and efficiency and the range and profitability of any other enterprises carried on. The same rate of Exchequer support is provided for all creameries and it would not seem appropriate to introduce differentials with a view to off-setting price variations as this would very much lessen the incentive to more efficient operations.

Does the Minister not agree that this one requires a little bit of teasing out in the Fianna Fáil Front Bench? Here is a situation where one farmer gets 5d more than another for milk of the same quality. Surely the onus is on the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries to try to do something about this?

Tell me, Deputy, would you suggest that we milk the cows for them as well?

That is just a foolish answer.

Is that what the Deputy wants?

(Cavan): The Minister is milking the farmers.

The milking of the cows has nothing whatever to do with the price the farmers get from the creamery for their milk.

The Deputy knows that he has nothing else to crib about at the moment so he is trying to highlight the differential in efficiency as between one co-operative and another. Is that not exactly what the Deputy is highlighting?

If the Minister has no answer he should say so.