IFA National Liquid Milk Rally: Let’s not take fresh milk for granted! – Tuesday 25th October 2016, 8pm – Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise
IFA President Joe Healy will open an IFA National Liquid Milk Rally on Tuesday 25th October in Portlaoise, by warning that we must not take fresh milk for granted in the post-quota era, because more farmers are being pushed by economic necessity out of the specialist systems required to guarantee locally produced fresh milk for consumers all year round. Winter pricing must be reviewed to secure long term continuity of supply, but first, winter 16/17 prices must be lifted to allow farmers cover their costs.
“Fresh milk produced and sold on Republic of Ireland’s supermarket shelves is worth €400m to the dairy sector – that’s 13% of our dairy export earnings, and it is worth nurturing,” Mr Healy said.
“However we are seeing increasing numbers of specialised farmers vote with their feet. In 2015, the number of autumn dairy calf births fell 16%, while the number of dairy births for the whole year rose 8.5%. We are seeing this trend continue this autumn.
“On Tuesday night of next week, we will hear from a young farmer who, with his father, a man committed for decades to liquid milk, decided to transition to spring milk production, and cease producing milk for the domestic drinking market. He will explain the cold hard economic facts that pushed them to go down that road,” Joe Healy said.
IFA National Liquid Milk Chairman John Finn added: “This young farmer’s experience, as well as analysis carried out by IFA, based on work by Teagasc and agricultural consultants, will be presented at the Rally to help us highlight the break-even price for liquid milk, and what farmers need to cover their costs this winter and beyond. This must be taken on board by the entire chain, from dairy to retailer to consumer, to ensure the continuity of quality, locally produced milk supplies”.
“In the context of Brexit, it would be foolish to damage our national capacity to supply our domestic fresh milk market by pushing all producers into export-oriented spring milk production,” he said.
IFA has invited liquid milk producers and other farmers, dairies, co-ops, retailers and other stakeholders to attend this event as part of the IFA Liquid Milk Price Campaign, which it is hoped will help focus the mind of all stakeholders to develop a road map for liquid milk post quotas.