Dairy Industry Must Continue to Work Together

IRELAND - The Irish dairy industry continues to make an enormous contribution to the Irish economy and this is satisfying for all involved in the sector.
calendar icon 12 November 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

With over 80 per cent of Irish dairy products exported annually, remaining competitive is the major challenge for farmers as they cope with significant swings in milk prices from peak to trough. FAPRI predicts that milk prices will average 26-28 cent/litre over the next 10 years. All involved in the Industry must work together to make tomorrow positive.

The debate on the future structure of the processing industry and its efficiency must be resolved. This is necessary due to the time consuming debate on the influence of processing structures on milk price. We need to move on together.

Dairy farmers, like the rest of the economy, faced significant difficulties in 2009 - adjusting to the recession, low milk prices and bad weather. Despite the current financial challenges, the outlook for dairy products in the medium-term is positive due to improving world demand.

The EU dairy market is no longer supported in the same way as it was pre the mid-term review of CAP. The business strategy adopted at farm level, to maintain a viable farm business in this new scenario, needs to be substantially different to the strategy followed previously.

Dairy farmers must develop systems of milk production capable of delivering sustainable returns within a milk price range of 20-40 cent/litre. In Ireland, this will be best achieved through the adoption of low cost grass-based systems of milk production.

Changes to increase efficiency and scale at both farm and processing level are necessary. This year’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference “Together for Tomorrow” encourages dairy farmers to work together with the processors and with knowledge-based research and advice. The conference explores ways of helping dairy farmers to flourish in an environment of volatile milk price.

Knowledge is Power. We encourage dairy farming families (wives/partners/heirs) and discussion groups to attend together so the issues raised can be discussed.

The first conference will be held on 18th November at The Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, County Westmeath.

The same conference will be held on 19th November at The Malton Hotel, Killarney, County Kerry.

Early booking is recommended.

Further Reading

- You can view the programme and book by clicking here.

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