Look what happened in the Netherlands – Hogan warns Irish dairy sector on environment
Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Phil Hogan has warned the Irish dairy sector that it must maintain its reputation for producing products of the highest standards of safety and sustainability.
Speaking INTL FCStone dairy conference recently, he said that broadly speaking, the European dairy sector has a good story to tell, and good prospects for the future.
But went on to say that “we have to be honest about the potential pitfalls that lie ahead”.
Hogan said the appealing image of dairy cows eating grass in wide open fields is a very successful selling point for Irish products.
However, he said if that reputation for quality and sustainability is compromised in any way, there is a clear and present danger of a negative market impact.
“I have used the Netherlands as a cautionary example in Ireland before, and for good reason.
“The Dutch dairy industry has been dealing with an ongoing phosphate problem which has resulted in the reduction of the Dutch dairy herd by around 122,000 cows over nine months, with a consequent reduction in phosphate and nitrates production.
“Currently, Dutch milk supply has fallen by 1.5pc,” he said.