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Sunday 11 December 2016

Dairy chief hails sector's steel despite 4.9pc fall in milk sales

Published 23/02/2010 | 05:00

FRESH FIGURES: Pictured at the launch of the National Dairy Council 2009 Annual Review were (left) NDC vice chairman Henry
Corbally; Helen Brophy, chief executive of the NDC; and Barry Jones, managing director of BMR (Business & Market Research)
FRESH FIGURES: Pictured at the launch of the National Dairy Council 2009 Annual Review were (left) NDC vice chairman Henry Corbally; Helen Brophy, chief executive of the NDC; and Barry Jones, managing director of BMR (Business & Market Research)

The value of milk sales fell by 4.9pc last year despite an increase of 1pc in the total volume of sales.

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However, National Dairy Council (NDC) chief executive, Helen Brophy insists that although 2009 was a year of turbulence in the sector, milk and dairy showed resilience in the face of recession.

Speaking at the launch of the NDC annual review yesterday, Ms Brophy said milk and dairy products had succeeded in sustaining, or even improving, volumes last year.

"Price deflation was a feature of 2009 and according to the CSO, the overall price fall for all food was 7.8pc.

"By comparison, in this difficult climate, dairy held its value better than many other categories," she said.

The total volume of butter and spreads grew marginally, according to the annual review. Sales of butter declined 2pc but returned to a positive position by the end of the year. By contrast, the sales value of branded health spreads fell by 11pc.

The cheese category grew marginally in volume over the year although the value of the category fell by 5.2pc.

A trend towards home cooking was reflected in the sales of cream, which grew in value by 4.9pc last year and showed a 1.2pc increase in sales.

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Exception

However, yogurt was the exception within the dairy category in terms of volume sales. Yogurt recorded a 3.4pc drop in volume in the first half of 2009, recovering by the year end but still remaining at 0.4pc.

"The dairy sector was operating in a grocery market last year that was under pressure from retailers in its battle for market share, as well as (from) consumers who were searching for value," said Ms Brophy.

"The dairy sector has worked hard and shown its resilience, with the result that consumers continue to enjoy milk and dairy products, while being more discerning about what they choose.

"The shock of recession caused many Irish consumers to radically change their shopping patterns at the start of 2009."

NDC chairman Dominic Cronin said the NDC's trade- mark, 'Farmed in the Republic of Ireland' deserved to be singled out as it brought much needed clarity to consumers about where their milk was farmed and processed.

The advertising campaign, which began in November, coincided with the rollout of the trademark on milk and cream packaging.

Irish Independent



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