Viable Payments to Specialist Producers North and South the Only Way to Guarantee Fresh Quality Milk Supplies for Irish Consumers – Cashman

Commenting today on the publication of the Report by the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture titled “The Grocery Goods Sector – Increasing equity and transparency in producer-processor-retailer relationships”, IFA National Liquid Milk Committee Chairman Teddy Cashman said it was important that the report acknowledged the very uneven relationship between primary producers, processors, and especially retailers, in the very concentrated Irish grocery market. He added that politicians needed to go a step further, and regulate the sector to secure viable remuneration for farmers. “The Members of the Oireachtas Committee have clearly given the liquid milk market a great deal of thought in preparing this report,” he said. “I believe their recommendation for Governmental talks on an all-Ireland liquid milk market can only succeed if viable payments are secured which cover the costs incurred by specialist milk producers North and South, and allow them to pay themselves a reasonable wage,” he said. “We have had detailed discussions with our Northern counterparts on this issue, and it is clear that the current distribution of margins in the food chain in both jurisdictions has proven quite inadequate to do this on a consistent basis,” he said. “I hope milk producers both sides of the border can count on their politicians in both jurisdictions to pursue the issue, and to help deliver the required commitment by processors and retailers through regulation of the food chain,” he concluded.

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