'We have to reinforce the positive messages about dairy'
My Week: Teddy Cashman, Whitecross, Cork - Dairy farmer and vice-chairman of the National Dairy Council
Teddy Cashman was relatively free at the start of last week - this gave him a chance to do some farming work including housing the dairy cows and drying off first calved heifers on his 250ac farm in Whitecross just outside Cork city.
He has just increased his Holstein-Friesian herd from 130 to 180 cows as part of his post-quota expansion - he is optimistic about the Irish dairy industry now that the production shackles have been removed by the mandarins in Brussels.
In advance of the abolition of quotas, he had improved the housing and dairy facilities at the farm and says he is confident about the future of the sector.
He supplies liquid milk to Dairygold but reckons the price is 5c/l shy of what he would describe as a "comfortable" margin for his winter product (3.6pc fat and 3.3pc proteins).
He says something will have to be done by the powers to be about fixing a 'comfortable' price for liquid milk producers, but he accepts that the sector will have to endure the ups and downs of what will be a volatile market for a few more months at least.
However, Teddy has a busy schedule as he is National Dairy Council's vice chairman, a role that sees him highlighting their campaigns emphasising the health and nutritional benefits of dairy for both young and old.
Likewise, he feels the NDC's joint ventures with agencies such as Safe Food Ireland, the Irish Dairy Board, Bord Bia and Teagasc are important in promoting Ireland as the 'green' island.
"This is a good message. And we have to reinforce this dairy message. We have to believe in the health and nutritional value of Irish milk especially if we intend to develop markets for Irish milk," he says.