Dairy, beef farmers call for urgent action

Irish farmers urgently need a 28c per litre intervention milk price and a sustained effort to re-open the Russian market, ICMSA president John Comer has stated.

The dairy supplier group leader estimates that income to milk suppliers has fallen by €800m in the two years since 2014, with a knock-on loss to the wider rural economy of at least €1.36bn. 

Dairy farmers can’t keep producing milk for less than the cost of production, he said.

“Irish milk suppliers are now facing into 2016 and an upcoming peak production period where they continue to receive a price for their milk that is less than it cost to produce.

It is delusional for anyone to think that we can go on like this approaching the first anniversary of quota abolition and with milk suppliers effectively producing milk for nothing,” said Mr Comer.

He said that no-one doubted the fundamental nature of the supply-demand problem, as it has evolved in the post-quota era. 

However, he said that recognising the role of market forces must not be used as an excuse for political inaction. He called for new responses to systematic problems.

ICMSA wants Irish farming and rural interests to be “front and centre” of the general election debate. 

The group is also seeking delivery of the recent Beef Forum pledge to review the price grid, and for new live cattle exports markets to be delivered upon.

The group is to circulate a document highlighting 16 farming and rural-related issues on which it plans for its members to seek commitments from general election candidates.


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