Dairygold chief says Ireland needs to focus on growing markets
As an exporting country, Ireland has to be prepared for risks such as Brexit and global trade wars, according to Dairygold CEO Jim Woulfe.
"We're an exporting nation, we have to follow the money. We have to follow the markets that are growing and giving the return, and there is always risk with that, such as Trump, Brexit and other trade agreements. They are always going to iron themselves out at the end of the day.
"We can't react or jump to every whim, to every utterance or tweet by Trump. We have to be conscious of the trends that are evolving. We're conscious of the shenanigans that are there but they don't influence our day to day."
Brexit, he said, if it comes to a cliff-edge hard exit with WTO tariffs being imposed by the UK, could cost the dairy processor €50m, while the indicative tariffs proposed by the UK would cost the processor around €9m.
And for Mr Woulfe and the Dairygold team, the main challenge facing them is how to recover such costs.
"The natural place to try and get it back is the marketplace, but the UK market is unforgiving and the UK retail scene is really challenging. There is going to be a lot of pushback, if you're going to try to get a cost increase in the price of cheese.
"We don't have wiggle room to take on that kind of cost.
"Obviously the other area is the producer side. From a farmer point of view, it's a very serious position if we're in the hard, cliff-edge non-negotiatble WTO scene - even the €9m scenario, that's quite an exposure in the form of three-quarters a cent per litre."