Warning on milk shortage as Brexit hits farms
Consumers could face milk shortages because farmers aren't being paid enough to milk cows during the winter - with Brexit only making matters worse.
More than 90pc of Ireland's dairy farmers produce milk on a seasonal basis for commodities, mainly for export.
Fresh milk for the supermarket shelf is produced 365 days a year by 1,800 specialists among our 18,000 dairy farmers.
Traditionally, there has been a price premium for farmers who milk all year round, but farmers say their margin has been eroded in recent years.
Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said the pressures on supplies could be made worse by the Brexit process.
He called for a strong strategy to keep local milk that is valued by Irish consumers on supermarket shelves.
Mr Healy said: "Article 50 will start the formal process of Britain leaving the EU. Some 26pc of milk on supermarket shelves comes from Northern Ireland.
"The IFA strategy identifies the challenges and provides solutions which can secure locally produced, high-quality fresh milk year round, while nurturing this valuable €530m market."