ICOS in search of unity on milk quota demise
Co-ops assess all expansion options
ICOS has moved to standardise the approach to be taken by co-ops in the event of milk supplies rising sharply as quotas are phased out over the next five years.
A consultation document has been sent by the ICOS dairy committee to all milk processor members.
It is envisaged that the preferences expressed by processors will inform the approach to be taken by the co-ops as a group.
The co-op body is keen that members adopt a common stance on new entrants to the sector and to expansion of processing facilities.
ICOS milk policy executive TJ Flanagan said dairy farmers and processors needed to redefine their relationship now that quotas were on the way out.
He said this could take the form of a share policy, where farmers received a given number of shares for every 100l of milk supplied.
Mr Flanagan predicted that access to spare processing capacity and the funding of creamery expansion would be critical issues for co-ops in the coming years.