'Explosive' growth after 2013 predicts Glanbia chief
Increasing processing capacity for the explosive growth expected in milk production post quota posed a huge challenge for policy makers and the entire dairy sector, Glanbia Ingredients chief executive Jim Bergin has warned.
The level of planning needed to facilitate the levels of growth forecast for the sector would have to be addressed at government, processor, and farmer level, Mr Bergin told the Agriculture Science Association (ASA) conference on Friday.
"We have to consider the trajectory of growth in milk production, which we believe will be explosive post-quota," he told delegates in Tullow.
"A new processing plant, based on a greenfield site, would take two years to complete, allowing for planning issues, maybe three years in the worst case.
"Should this be a Glanbia or a national project? Definitely there is significant growth planned in the Glanbia area.
"But this is a true business case for the country. This is a very good opportunity for the industry to coalesce around top-class facilities."
Mr Bergin said the challenge was to determine who should put in the seed capital.
"Irish co-ops have low equity accumulation compared to their European counterparts so we need to look at the industry partners -- shareholder, processors and Government," he said.