The first ever IFA Liquid Milk Forum, addressing the challenges retailers, industry organisations and dairy farmers face to create a sustainable milk industry, takes place this afternoon at the Clyde Court Hotel in Dublin.
Kern Kinnear, Commercial Business Manager, Tesco Ireland and Eoghan Sweeney, General Manager, Dairy, Aurivo Co-op, will be among those addressing the topic of 'Future Commitment and Sourcing' at the event.
In addition, the event will see presentations from IFA President Eddie Downey, Dr Muiris O Ceidigh, Chief Executive, National Milk Agency, Dr Joe Patton, Research Officer, Teagasc and Teddy Cashman, Chairman, IFA National Liquid Milk Committee.
Commenting in advance of the Forum, IFA President Eddie Downey said: “I am shocked by the contrast there is among dairy farmers at the moment: those, in a majority, supplying co-ops with manufacturing milk based on spring calving herds and grass are genuinely excited about the opportunities to supply fast growing global dairy demand after quotas are abolished in just over eight months’ time. Those, in a minority of less than 1,900, who put our fresh milk on the shelves of supermarkets all year round really worry they are taken for granted, and that there is no long-term plan to secure their continued economic sustainability.
“This is what we want all stakeholders to understand on Friday: unless we develop a plan collectively, and improve structures and systems to secure the sustainability of specialist producers, Irish consumers will not be able, long term, to buy every day the locally produced, high quality fresh milk they are accustomed to.”