Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

'Co-ops must drive consolidation push'

The strong positive consensus expressed by co-op board members about further consolidation of the dairy industry would be rapidly followed up by determined action, the IFA has claimed.

IFA national dairy committee chairman Kevin Kiersey told a meeting on dairy consolidation in Longford last week that steps to drive on the process were now needed.

Over 40 co-op directors from the Lakeland, Connacht Gold, Town of Monaghan and Donegal Creameries attended the meeting and heard calls for greater consolidation in the areas of milk collection, R&D, processing and marketing.

Mr Kiersey said IFA's aim was to ensure that the drive towards industry consolidation did not lose momentum as milk prices recovered.

"As with our previous meetings earlier this summer, we have found that board members were keenly aware of the need for a major consolidation effort," Mr Kiersey said.

"It was also clear from the meetings and from recent correspondence with co-ops that a significant amount of co-operation is already taking place, which the association is attempting to quantify," he added.

However, the IFA man admitted that "issues of trust" needed to be surmounted in some instances.

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Irish Independent