The recent Irish Farmers Association (IFA) Milk Wise 2025 Stratergy meeting with Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, was 'constructive and positive' said IFA President Joe Healy.
Healy also outlined that the liquid milk sector is an integral part of the Irish dairy sector whose value could not be taken for granted, and urged Minister Creed to follow up on empowering the National Milk Agency to better regulate the sector and help secure economically sustainable remuneration for specialist liquid milk producers.
“Our analysis has shown that the availability over the winter months of milk from freshly calved cows, which is the milk required for the pasteurised drinking milk consumer market, is diminishing. Volumes of fresh milk purchased under registered contracts for processing for liquid milk consumption over processors’ fresh milk sales fell from an 11% surplus in 2013/14 to just 5% in 2014/15.
"Since then, the number of dairy cows calved over the autumn months have fallen 15% in 2015, and by 11% in 2016, suggesting that cover over demand has fallen further. As this has happened at the same time as a significant national dairy expansion, it is clear that there are some very fundamental production pattern shifts happening, and this will have serious implications for potential shortages of fresh milk over winter months,” Mr Healy said.
It appears a proposal to survey specialist milk producers was also well received.
IFA National Liquid Milk Chairman John Finn added: “Minister Creed was enthused by our agreement with the National Milk Agency to carry out this year a survey of all 1800 specialist milk producers to establish their age profile, succession plans and intentions”.
“He further agreed that he would engage promptly with the National Milk Agency (NMA) to address some of the relevant issues, especially around multi-annual rather than annual contracts, the timing of their signature relative to the announcement of winter prices, and the assessment of “adequate compensation” which the NMA has by law1 to satisfy itself of before registering producer contracts. He also accepted that the NMA needed to be better able to collate data on the liquid milk market, including imports”. Finn concludes.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern