Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Nightmare scenario' for Irish dairy if Brexit goes ahead

Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30

A "nightmare scenario" would unfold for the Irish dairy sector if Britain were to exit the EU and focus on their Commonwealth partners, it has been warned.

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Bernard Condon, director of dairy trading and ingredients with Ornua, said it was working to diversify and was pioneering technology for producing fresh white cheeses for the food service sector.

But he said that cheddar is by far the main cheese, with up to 200,000t annum produced, and "when it comes to cheddar, the UK is our big market. If the UK was not importing it, then it would pose a significant challenge.

"There are other markets for milk solids, but our view (on Brexit) is that we hope it won't happen." The referendum is due to take place on June 23.

Nearly 50,000 farmers have seven days to get their applications in for their share of the €1.2bn Basic Payment Scheme.

There is a big push to get more applicants online to minimise errors. It has the added advantage of an extended window after the deadline to correct dual- and over-claims. Over 80pc of applications so far have been online. Farmers can apply themselves at www.agfood.ie

Help is also available until 9pm daily at 0761-064424. Department staff will also be available at the Portlaoise office from Wednesday, May 4, until midnight next Monday.

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