Zoë Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council has told the organisation's annual conference, held yesterday at Dublin's RDS, that three industry 'mega trends' are ushering in an 'unprecedented era of opportunity' for the dairy industry, in which Ireland is set for success.
As she explained, Ireland is well-positioned to take advantage of these three trends: growth in emerging markets; dairy innovation such as sports and infant nutrition; and consumer demand for quality.
“Economists estimate that expansion which will follow the abolishment of milk quotas in 2015 could be worth €1.3 billion per year to our economy, with the potential to create 15,000 additional jobs, from farm gate to dairy processors and spread throughout the counties," said Kavanagh.
The conference was officially opened by Tom Hayes T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine. “For the first time ever, Irish dairy exports exceeded €3 billion in value in 2013," he said. "Research, innovation and new product development are a key part of this growth dynamic. Using science and innovation to add value to a fresh traditional Irish dairy products is a core vision in Food Harvest 2020."
The event also featured panel discussions on Research & Innovation and Dairy Quality, which included participants such as rugby professional Rob Kearney, John Byrne (Aurivo Dairy Ingredients), Seán Molloy (Glanbia Ingredients Ireland) and Joe Moriarty (Kerry Agribusiness).