Irish Dairying - Growing Sustainably
Thousands of farmers attending the Teagasc Dairy Open Day, Moorepark’19, heard how the Irish dairy industry has been transformed with exports of Irish dairy products and ingredients increasing from €1.84 billion for the average of 2007 to 2009, to over €4 billion in 2018. Milk production in Ireland has increased to 7.57 billion litres in 2018 and current indications are that milk production in 2019 could reach 8 billion litres.
The overall sponsor of the Dairy Open Day, Moorepark’19, which is taking place in Fermoy, County Cork today, Wednesday, 3 July is FBD Insurance, with additional support from Ornua and Ulster Bank.
Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle warned dairy farmers that Irish dairy industry is currently facing a number of key challenges, namely climate change; water quality; remaining competitive; access to markets; and availability of skilled labour. Speaking at the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Open Day, Professor Boyle said; “the challenge is to grow the business sustainably. In relation to climate change, Teagasc has produced guidelines for the dairy sector, identifying key actions that need to be undertaken to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.”
Fiona Muldoon CEO of FBD Holdings plc said: “FBD are committed to supporting Irish farming. I am delighted that Teagasc and FBD have again partnered for this annual highlight of the dairy calendar. The Moorepark dairy open day showcases world leading research and advice which is available to all farmers. FBD Insurance is also committed to new developments and our new farm product is proof of this. FBD’s environmental insurance cover which is now included as standard – is a first in this country. I hope all visitors here today have an informative and enjoyable day.”
Liam Herlihy, Chairman of Teagasc said: “Dairy farming faces challenges and opportunities. The knowledge available here in Moorepark today will help farmers to inform themselves of the latest technologies to take advantage of the opportunities while meeting the challenges. I am pleased that Teagasc have partnered with FBD, Ulster Bank and Ornua to deliver this major dairy open day.”
A Dairy Farm Infrastructure Workbook, which was produced by Teagasc in partnership with Ulster Bank is being launched at Moorepark’19 and will help farmers to plan improvements in the areas of grazing infrastructure, milking practices and energy use. Ulster Bank’s Head of Agriculture, Dr Ailish Byrne said: “As a bank that recognises the critical importance of good dairy farm infrastructure, we are proud to be the key partner for the Infrastructure Workbook. Ulster Bank wants to help farmers make good decisions for future growth while simultaneously recognising the inherent challenges such as weather and prices so that they are well-positioned to deal with whatever difficulties they face. Our Agriculture Managers have the expertise needed to provide support and help to farmers in good times as well as in more challenging times.”
The Open Day Forum, sponsored by Ornua, is addressing ‘the Challenges and Opportunities of Continued Expansion’. The panel will discuss the importance of the dairy industry to the Irish economy, the environmental challenges of continued expansion, the nutritional benefits of dairy and future market requirements.
CEO of Ornua, John Jordan said; “We are proud to support Moorepark’19, an excellent example of Irish dairy farmers’ appetite for knowledge sharing and is indicative of their commitment to addressing challenges around climate change, water quality and biodiversity. Today’s consumers demand natural and sustainably produced dairy products and Ireland is well positioned to meet this demand. As an industry we need to continue to work collaboratively as we navigate through these challenges. By doing so, I am confident we will protect Ireland’s global reputation as a natural and sustainable food producer.”
A comprehensive booklet outlining all the latest research and advice presented at the open day is available below.