The removal of European restrictions on milk production “represents a momentous juncture” for the British and Irish export markets, dairy industry insiders have said.
Quotas have been in place for European Union member states since 1984, but plans for their abolition this year were announced in 2009.This prompted the director general of Dairy UK to claim that the removal of quotas could signal the start of a new era for the industry.
Now Ireland’s largest dairy ingredients company has added its weight to the argument, claiming that the changes will give the country’s dairy farmers “a unique opportunity to increase milk production and bring an addition €1bn into the Irish economy”.
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland claimed that statistics from Rabobank and Harvest 2020 show that the supply of milk needs to increase by 50% over the next five years, and that Ireland has the capacity to produce 9 tonnes dm per hectare. It has invested €200m in the building of a new facility to make specialised milk powder products and nutritional ingredients to meet the increased demand.
The company said: “Ireland is in a very similar situation to New Zealand, with a large dairy industry and grass-based system naturally suited to sustainable dairy farming. When milk quotas were introduced back in 1984, Ireland and New Zealand both produced approximately 5 billion litres annually. New Zealand did not have to partake in a quota regime and now produces 17 billion litres of milk annually.”
“For the first time in 30 years, Irish dairy farmers can in effect increase their production without having to purchase additional milk quota rights.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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