A CAMPAIGN by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association to highlight the crisis in the dairy sector will be brought to the gates of Government Buildings in Dublin today.
Cows from farms in adjoining counties will be milked in mobile parlours at midday in Merrion Street to highlight the situation.
The ICMSA will point out that Irish dairy farmers are now receiving 20 cent per litre for milk that is sold hours later in supermarkets for €1.25.
It has again called on the Government to join with France, Germany, Holland, Austria and other European Union member states at next Monday’s Farm Council. The association wants member states to demand an end to what it says is the European Commission’s catastrophic policy of expanding milk quota and increasing production.
The ICMSA said this was being done at a time when milk prices have collapsed to levels last seen 20 years ago.
Jackie Cahill, president, speaking upon his return from a European Milk Board (EMB) meeting in Brussels, said dairy farmers were now moving into showdown mode with the commission.
While the likelihood of a milk strike in Ireland was remote, he said it could not be entirely discounted.
The situation in France, Germany, Holland and Austria was different. Events were moving in those countries towards a milk strike.
The French dairy farmers are particularly incensed and their anger is being echoed right throughout EMB.
Mr Cahill said the idea that the commission will persist with a policy of quota expansion that’s bringing more milk onto the market when the milk suppliers already selling into that market are receiving a price several cents below the cost of production was just absurd.
The ICMSA leader said he believes there will be a milk strike in France, Germany and the Benelux countries, with Ireland, Britain and Denmark preferring to pursue a political solution at commission level.
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