Carbery boss warns estimates on spare capacity are too low
Spare milk processing capacity at peak could be as low as 15pc and much of this was located away from where it was needed, the IFA's Dairy 2020 milk conference was told last week.
Carbery CEO Dan McSweeney maintained that estimates of 30pc spare processing capacity at peak were well off the mark.
Mr McSweeney told delegates at the Citywest conference that the location of this spare capacity was also problematic. He pointed out that the bulk of it was located away from where it was needed in the south and east of the country.
He said there would be a necessity for an increased investment in stainless steel if Ireland was to hit the 50pc expansion in milk production set out in the Food Harvest 2020 report.
The road map for that expansion was set out last week with the publication by the Department of Agriculture of a 55-point action plan from the Dairy Expansion Activation Group.
Speaking at the IFA conference, Dr Sean Brady of the activation group warned that the action plan would need to be pushed by those involved in the sector.
The plan aims to work at four levels: the identification of markets, milk processing efficiency, on-farm production and general agricultural strategy.
Kevin Lane of the Irish Dairy Board (IDB) pointed out that there was good potential for sales growth in Russia, China and other parts of Asia and Africa.