IFA Dairy and Liquid Milk Chairmen Kevin Kiersey and Teddy Cashman, met with the Ulster Farmers’ Union’s Dairy Chairman Andrew Addison, Vice-President Ian Marshall, Dairy Committee Vice Chairman Jonathan Moore, as well as Dairy Policy Advisor Christopher Osborne in Belfast. The meeting was convened to discuss the dairy industry on the island of Ireland ahead of quota abolition and a new CAP.
Mr Kiersey said that dairy farmers North and South had a great deal more in common than separated them.
“Northern Irish dairy farmers, like us, are strong dairy exporters and have a substantial amount of their milk processed by Republic of Ireland co-ops. They too are looking with a mix of enthusiasm and uncertainty to plan for the post-2015 era,” Mr Kiersey said.
“We also have a great deal of common ground in our approach to the CAP reform negotiations: they too want to see their productive base protected from the impact of the proposed flattening of payments and the greening measures, and they also are concerned about the insufficient emergency “safety net” approach to market supports. Just like us, they are worried about land speculation linked to possible CAP reform outcomes,” he continued.
Speaking of the liquid milk market in the Republic of Ireland, IFA Liquid Milk Chairman Teddy Cashman said: “What is vital at this point to farmers North and South is that they can secure a viable milk price which covers costs and allows them to make a reasonable income. Our discussions have clearly shown that we have the same concerns in this regard. Both IFA and UFU will continue to lobby to secure the best possible price for milk producers.”
Kevin Kiersey said the meeting with the Ulster Farmers’ Unions dairy representatives was part of a warm and cordial relationship between the two organisations. “We will continue to communicate and share ideas in this critical time for our industry, which will see the end of the quota regime and the negotiation and implementation of a new CAP,” Mr Kiersey concluded