International trade challenges must be carefully managed

International trade challenges must be carefully managed for Ireland to capitalise on anticipated dairy and livestock sector growth, said ICOS chief executive Seamus O’Donohoe.

Measures to manage global dairy price volatility will be high on the agenda at today’s ICOS national conference in Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Speakers include Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, Arla Foods chair Ake Hantoft, Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon, Agricultural Trust chief exec Matt Dempsey, UCD public health professor Pat Wall, ICOS president Bertie O’Leary and Food Harvest 2020 chair Dr Seán Brady.

Seamus O’Donohoe said: “The Irish food industry is poised for further growth but there are risks and volatility which must be managed in our approach to the global marketplace. Trade agreements, environmental concerns, consumer confidence, the pricing of inputs and the overall sustainability of production from farm to fork all form part of this equation.

“In the dairy sector, we need to develop risk management tools to curb the impacts of market volatility post quota. A national effort is needed to assist farmers in managing increased milk production and global price volatility for dairy items. .”

The ICOS leader said Europe is significantly behind the US in the development and use of market tools to manage price volatility. More work needs to be done on a collaborative basis to identify and develop appropriate income stabilising tools for farmers, he said.


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