Farm Ireland

Thursday 26 April 2018

ICOS: Deals must align

TJ Flanagan says all things must help each other
TJ Flanagan says all things must help each other

TJ Flanagan, dairy policy executive

"To hit the 50pc target will require a lot of things to happen simultaneously.

"We'll need the WTO and Mercosur talks to go in our favour regarding world trade. CAP reform will need to happen in a way that sees Irish farmers stay competitive on an international level.

"Commodity prices will need to remain healthy enough to encourage farmers to invest -- but not too high that it causes a glut of supply.

"And land availability will need to be freed up enough to allow dairy producers access to enough land.

"In some ways, the CAP may prevent this happening.


"WMP appears to be the only market with much scope for growth for Irish product right now.

"I don't think this would affect the overall returns to farmers, since commodities such as WMP are actually returning as much as consumer goods are at the moment.

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"This is partly driven by the over-domination of retailers of the European market for consumer goods.

"If we fill our quota limit by 2015, we'll already be up by 9.4pc on the base that the 2020 Report uses from 2007-2009. It has been suggested that we may have capacity to process 10pc more milk with our existing facilities.

"It has also been suggested that we could increase our milk output by another 10pc without any additional investment in plant -- if more farmers switched to an earlier calving and turnout date. That would take us nearly halfway to the target without any additional cost.

"KPMG is undertaking a study to analyse what additional investment in facilities they believe will be required. It will be a number of months before this is published."

Irish Independent