A global population soaring at a rate of 75m a year will add a market three times the size of the EU within 10 years, according to Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter.
Addressing yesterday’s national dairy conference in Dublin, Mr Cotter was among a host of industry leaders assessing the future for Ireland’s milk industry.
The seminar focused particularly on the market picture likely to follow the EUs’ abolition of milk quota restrictions in April 2015.
“The growth in the global demand for food, combined with shifting dietary habits towards more protein based foods and dairy products, is relentless. It is driven by a population growing at 75m people a year and double that number joining the middle classes,” said Mr Cotter.
The Bord Bia chief said that, over the next 10 years, a market three times the size of the EU, in buying power terms, is being created, principally in Asia but also Africa. The region is now home to over three quarters of the world’s population.
“With 40% of its exports already destined for international markets, principally to these regions, as our dairy industry expands it is well positioned to benefit from the sustained growth in demand for dairy products,” he added.
The conference, Countdown to Quota Abolition - Managing Price Volatility and Expansion in a Post-Quota Era, was jointly hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Teagasc.
Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, said: “We are on the cusp of the most fundamental change to Irish Agriculture in a generation. Since 1984, the industry has operated within a quota environment.
“The shackles come off next April and following that we will have an exciting mix of opportunity and challenge for all stakeholders; farmers and rural Ireland, processors and manufacturers, agri-business and exporters. It is timely that we take stock of where we stand in terms of our preparedness for this new era.”
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