Non-Irish product being used to secure post-quota markets
The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) will source 30,000t of non-Irish dairy product this year to supply expanding markets and secure market share for increased Irish volumes when quotas cease in 2015.
While the IDB has always handled some foreign product, volumes have been ramped up in recent years as the organisation prepares for an expected 40pc increase in domestic output over the next seven years.
The post-quota period will bring the total volume of milk being marketed by the IDB to at least 3bn litres.
Since 2010, the IDB has placed more than 32 sales people in new and emerging markets around the world.
"We're well ready for post quota and hugely confident that we'll find profitable homes for whatever milk is thrown at us," said IDB chairman Aaron Forde.
Trading director, Bernard Condon, went one step further.
"At this stage we'd have a much bigger problem if quotas weren't being removed because we barely have enough product to keep up with demand," he said.
Despite retailing for up to twice the price of local competition, Irish butter under the Kerrygold banner is continuing to gain market share.