Dairy group on fact-finding mission

A HIGH-powered delegation from the dairy industry will study the agri-food sector in Finland and Denmark over the next three days.

The mission, organised by Enterprise Ireland, will be headed by Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith, chief executives and senior managers from seven of Ireland’s largest dairy processors will take part in the business development visit.

Mr Smith will be accompanied by Tom Moran, secretary-general of his department, and by senior Enterprise Ireland executives. The visit takes place as the dairy industry in Ireland discusses how best to position itself so that it is competitive to meet future market challenges.

Minister Smith said research and development and innovation play a very important role in the dairy industry in the Nordic region. “The visit is planned to gain an understanding of this role and how it has contributed to the successful development of the industry, and to learn from their experiences,” he said.

Before joining the delegation, Minister Smith will attend a meeting in Brussels today of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

A report published by the European Commission last July on dairy markets will be discussed at the meeting.

Minister Smith said the dairy market continues to experience unprecedented difficulties. He shared the concerns of milk producers at the severity of the current downturn.

Minister Smith said he will be pressing strongly for increased intervention prices and an increase in the scope and extent of export refunds.


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