Dairy output heading for 10 billion litres in Munster
Longterm outlook promising despite looming price pressures says co-op boss
A 10-billion-litre dairy industry is in sight in the south of the country but it won't occur without challenges, Dairygold chief executive Jim Woulfe has warned.
Mr Woulfe told the Positive Farmers Conference in Cork it would face a number of problems, such as volatility and ensuring farmers adhere to the sustainability agenda.
"In the long term the demand for dairy and emerging markets will grow," he said.
"We will have fluctuations and volatility but we have measures in place. I see a 10 billion south-of-Ireland dairy industry in sight if we follow the sustainability agenda. There will be downward pressure in prices in the short term but I'm optimistic for the long term."
Alternative dairy trends, lobby groups, oil prices and Brexit were highlighted as some of the biggest challenges facing the growth of the dairy industry.
In order to overcome these challenges they would have to focus on Chinese markets and milk-deficit regions such as Asia and Africa, he said.
"The demand growth will be from the milk-deficit regions in Asia and Africa. They will underpin global dairy demand, which is predicted at 72pc on a straight-line basis for the year ahead," he said.
Mr Woulfe said the diet in those regions was becoming increasingly westernised.