IFA President Eddie Downey today (Wednesday) launched the forthcoming IFA dairy farmer conference “The Business of Dairy Farming Post 2015”, to be held on Tuesday 21st October 2014 in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare.
Mr Downey, who will be opening the conference by setting out the policy context for the post quota era, said: “The end of quotas in less than six months will give Irish farmers opportunities to expand and supply a rapidly growing and increasingly affluent global demand for quality, sustainable dairy products. However, these opportunities will not be without challenges. With increasingly volatile dairy markets, milk prices and input costs, farmers will not only need to increase their efficiencies, but they will also have to broaden their skillset to include financial and business planning, to cope with fluctuating incomes, regardless of their expansion plans.”
IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary, who will be chairing the event, added: “We have gathered quality expert speakers to help farmers reflect on what they need to plan for and do in relation to farm resources, finance, budget and cash flow management, but also on such critical issues as safety proofing their growth plans. We will touch on milk price and input risk management in the context of a much increased volatility, and we will have industry leaders outline their plans to process and market the extra milk”.
“This is a conference we believe all dairy farmers, whether or not they plan to expand, and potential new entrants, should attend as a first step to prudently plan their way for the post 2015 era. Dairying is a sector which is demanding in resources, be they farm resources, finance or farming skills, and there may be more than one way for farmers to benefit from the dairy growth,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Also, not all dairy farmers may plan to grow their business in a significant way, but they will all still need to become much more adept at managing their finances in a volatile environment. Finally, the global dairy demand growth is a long term trend, and Irish farmers who wish to come into dairying and/or expand will have opportunities to do so for years to come – planning prudently is far more desirable that starting early without optimum preparation,” he said.
Registration for the conference is essential, as places are limited. Registration can be completed online, by email to [email protected] or by phone to Ann Dunne at 01-4260362 with your name, organisation where relevant, address and phone number.