IFA President Joe Healy has written to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and the National Emergency Response Group regarding the urgent situation facing a rapidly rising number of dairy farmers whose milk cannot be collected.
IFA is asking that local authorities would co-ordinate their actions with co-ops to prioritise the clearing of roads leading to dairy farms.
Joe Healy said milk is normally collected by private hauliers on contract to milk processing co-ops, using both articulated and rigid tankers, the latter being better able to handle difficult conditions. The hauliers have done trojan work since early this week to collect milk before the storm hit, and to keep collections going for as long as possible on Wednesday and Thursday.
However, now, in many of the co-ops’ catchment areas, milk collections have had to be suspended.
“Most dairy farms farmers have static refrigerated milk storage tanks that can hold up to two days’ worth of milk. Already, some farmers have filled these and they will have to dispose of milk if it is not collected urgently.
“This is obviously seriously problematic from a food wastage point of view and would cause a massive economic loss to the farmers concerned. If it continues it could also affect the availability of fresh milk on supermarket shelves,” Joe Healy said.