The Irish Farmers Association has called on the the National Milk Agency (NMA) and the National Dairy Council (NDC) to introduce stronger regulations governing how retailers source private label milk.
IFA chairman Teddy Cashman said that Committee members "do not want to see any of their dairies concede value back to retailers in a futile attempt to capture a temporarily greater share in a mature, static consumer market, at the expense of remunerating liquid milk specialist producers sustainably”.
The farmers group called on the NMA and NDC to ensure that three conditions are met when retailers are sourcing private label milk: firstly, that 'the milk is sourced exclusively from producers contracted under the auspices of the NMA'; secondly, that 'milk is produced and processed in the Republic of Ireland and the process is audited by the NDC to ensure the milk qualifies for the NDC mark'; and thirdly that 'producers are remunerated adequately for the additional costs they incur in producing milk year-round, especially over the winter months'.
“We must nurture this valuable sector, which can only be sustained by ensuring the specialist producers supplying it can make a viable living," said Cashman.
"We believe the NMA as regulators, and the NDC as the promotional body, must step up to secure the long- term sustainability of the sector by ensuring responsible behaviours by dairies and retailers."
The National Dairy Council did not issue a response when contacted by Checkout.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones