President of the Irish Farmers Association Eddie Downey has said that farmers and those involved in the dairy sector are right to be optimistic following the lift of the milk quotas which comes in today.
Downey highlighted a real opportunity to increase milk production, with world demand expected to grow significantly over the next few years, “Based on the expansion in other parts of the world, Irish producers need to be particularly careful on the level of borrowing and additional business cost they take on as they expand”.
He added, “IFA is acutely conscious of the many issues outside the farm gate that must be addressed to help the sector meet its potential. New taxation measures to address extreme market volatility and a clear focus by the Government to ensure that any future climate change targets do not inhibit the ability of the sector to grow are critical.”
Downey also reinforced that recent reports of environmental risks from dairy expansion are “totally unfounded”, and that Irish dairy farmers have invested heavily in environmental measures to ensure that this does not happen.
However, Chairman of the IFA National Dairy Committee said that dairy farmers would proceed cautiously in their future endeavours, ““According to research carried out by Ipsos MRBI for AIB Bank, and presented at our current series of dairy seminars, the average level of indebtedness of Irish dairy farms is €62,000. This compares with over €800,000 on the average Dutch farm, and €1.4m on the average Danish farm.”
O’Leary added, “We farmers and our co-ops have been planning for the end of quotas for a number of years now. Co-ops like Glanbia, Dairygold, Kerry, Lakeland and others have made major investments in additional processing capacity. The Irish Dairy Board have identified new markets for existing and new products, and have already started establishing new routes to export markets for growing Irish milk supplies. Farmers have increased their young stock and invested in extending and improving their on-farm facilities.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Hannah Popham.