Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that the first dairy forum hosted by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, marks a significant opportunity for farmers and stakeholders to discuss issues important to the dairy sector.
“The abolition of the EU dairy quotas provides a great opportunity for the Irish dairy sector, but it has also presented some challenges for farmers,” Deputy McFadden says. “Recent price volatility due to turbulent global markets means Irish farmers are receiving a reduced farmgate price for their milk this year, and this has caused difficulties.
“However, there have recently been tentative signs that markets may be starting to stabilise due to the reduction in global production and a slow increase in demand. While some price volatility is inevitable, it is important that Irish farmers and processors have the tools to help them overcome these challenges.
“The potential tools include not only EU market support measures, but also futures markets, longer term fixed price contracts, more stable supply and price arrangements and more flexible banking arrangements for farmers.” Deputy McFadden says the main message coming from the forum is that while it has been a difficult period, it is essential that the Irish dairy sector is positioned to take full advantage of this opportunity.