Dairy processors in Ireland say milk collection from farms is continuing as normal while they ensure that social distancing takes place throughout the collection process to prevent disruption due to coronavirus.
The collection protocols on farms typically entails the dairy farmer opening facilities for the milk collection vehicle and maintaining an appropriate distance from the driver until they depart.
Retailers across Ireland have had to issue statements assuring the public of sufficient food supplies following scenes of long queues in supermarkets nationwide.
The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the representative body for dairy co-ops and livestock marts, say all its dairy processing members are continuing operations entirely as normal, while having in place necessary infection prevention measures throughout their operations.
They urged any farming family that is affected by Coronavirus should contact their co-operative directly to make milk collection arrangements and that any such contact will be treated in the strictest confidence.
However, ICOS said the Government will need to consider adjustments to working time provisions to allow for maximum flexibility for workers and employers within the Organisation of Working Time Act.
They said there needs to be flexibility in working arrangements to protect employment in situations where workers have to self isolate and also to ensure that milk will not have to be discarded.
Separately, ICOS reiterated their advice in relation to attending marts that will continue to operate.
Only those buying or selling livestock should attend marts with the number of people attending individual mart ringsides at any one time limited to 100 which will be managed on a strict rotation system using admission cards.