Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

Dairygold unveils disease check plan

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Dairygold has launched a new herd health screening programme which aims to identify and tackle disease levels in suppliers' herds.

Using its newly accredited milk-testing laboratory in Mallow, Co Cork, the co-op will test for conditions such as BVD, IBR, Neospora, Leptospirosis and Johne's.

Speaking at Dairygold's 2010 Milk Quality Awards in Cork last week, co-op chief executive Jim Woulfe insisted that maintaining world-class milk quality standards was essential.

"As a business involved in the food industry, we must ensure that our products meet the high standards demanded by our customers," Mr Woulfe said.


"We must provide continuous reassurance about the integrity of our products and be able to support this with protocols and systems that enable full traceability throughout the food chain right back to the animal."

A planned approach to tackling the diseases will involve diagnostic tests, biosecurity and vaccination programmes.

"We will work with Munster AI's herd health programme as well as with veterinary surgeons to promote and improve animal health within farms," Mr Woulfe said.

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"We will encourage a strong herd health focus and organise projects with discussion groups, arrange for the assessment of herd health practices on dairy farms and organise special interest events on the topic."

Mr Woulfe said Dairygold's contract to supply Danone's infant milk formula facility in Macroom and the production of specialised ingredients for China's growing baby formula market meant the increased emphasis on quality was vital.

Meanwhile, milk supplies continued to flood into dairies over the past few weeks.

Dairygold confirmed that supplies were running 16pc ahead of April last year, Kerry was 25pc up on 12 months ago and Connacht Gold was 20pc over last year's levels.

A spokesperson for Glanbia said the co-op was 10pc over quota for April and that it was reviewing what was a "serious situation" given that there were three to four peak weeks to come.

Dairygold is known to be considering on-account deductions for suppliers exceeding quota in the current quota year. Deductions of up to 28.65c/l have been suggested.

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