Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 26 February 2017

The farmer: The 50pc increase can be achieved

Mike Magan, Food Harvest 2020 committee member

"The irreversible fact is that from now on, we will be competing on an open global market. That may scare some people but I think it's actually a huge opportunity.

"Demand is increasing internationally and we are actually better placed to increase production compared to anybody else -- even the New Zealanders because they are starting to encounter water supply issues that we won't have. The flip side of this is that if we don't produce it, somebody else will.

Support

"I supported the 50pc target to be included in the report because it is achievable.

"Maybe we need a couple of international analysts to prove that this is real so that the target doesn't become incredulous in the minds of dairy farmers. And there's no doubt that many things need to change in relation to access to land and attitudes to share-farming for us to achieve the target.

"I think that whole milk powder looks like a good option for extra milk since we produce enough butter and cheese. The New Zealanders seem to be doing well out of it. It's not rocket science and I think the plant could be set up quite simply.

Warned

"I don't like the way the farmer is being warned about how much extra milk processing facilities will end up costing them in their milk cheque.

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"Surely there's an advantage to processors to be growing their output too? It's also impossible to access how the costs should be divvied up since the processing industry guards the actual cost of processing milk better than the Third Secret of Fatima.

"I don't think extra production will have any impact on what the farmer is paid for his milk since we'll be trading in world markets anyway."

Irish Independent