Non quality assured dairy farmers facing total rejection by all processors
Milk producers without Bord Bia Quality Assurance accreditation are facing total rejection by all dairy processors of milk supplies from their farms within months.
Processors are intensifying pressure on "non-compliant" suppliers to obtain certification with warnings that non-certified milk will not be accepted by the end of the year.
Of the eight top processors in the country, it is understood that suppliers to four have achieved 100pc accreditation. Rejection of non-QA milk supplies has been introduced in some areas, while other processors are penalising non-compliant suppliers by at least 2c/ltr on milk price.
Arrabawn's Conor Ryan warned "the next six months will be critical" for full participation because it will no longer be acceptable that 1pc of non-compliant producers can effect the benefit of the scheme. He said 97.7pc of suppliers have QA.
"While we have not got to that point yet, other co-ops are now refusing to collect milk from farmers who are not involved in it," he said.
Mr Ryan said a small number not participating were generally older farmers that may not remain in milk production.
The co-op is working with them as within months the society will have to cease collection of milk from non-certified farms.
Of the 16,817 dairy farmers who have applied for Quality Assurance, Bord Bia has confirmed that 14,749, which represents 87.7pc, have now been fully accredited following audit inspection.