NDC predicts creation of 15,000 jobs after milk quotas abolished
Irish economy could benefit to the tune of €1.3 billion from abolishment of milk quotas in 2015, according to economist estimates revealed at NDC conference
19 May 2014
Economists have estimated that expansion following the abolishment of milk quotas in 2015 could be worth €1.3 billion per year to our economy.
Speaking at the National Dairy Council (NDC) 50th Anniversary Annual Conference in the RDS which took place last week during National Dairy Week, Zoë Kavanagh, NDC chief executive, said the expansion had the "potential to create 15,000 additional jobs, from farm gate to dairy processors and spread throughout the counties".
According to Kavanagh, three mega trends are presenting an unprecedented era of opportunity for the dairy industry, in which Ireland is well positioned for success.
These include growth in the economies of emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and South America fuelling demand for high value food products against finite food sources. The second positive is our level of research and innovation which provides new applications for dairy, for example in sports nutrition and healthy ageing. The third factor which will fuel growth according to the NDC, is consumer demands for both quality and sustainability in the products they purchase.
Kavanagh said that the Irish dairy sector has been resilient and innovative throughout times of recession and milk quota restrictions and has the capability to act adroitly, making the most productive use of our pasture-based, natural resources in a sustainable manner.
"Consumers have an interest in food quality and provenance," Kavanagh added. "Nurturing and building on the domestic trust and reputation we enjoy is vital in establishing a secure platform at home for the sustainable export-led growth that will allow the benefits of Irish dairy products to reach a wider community of consumers."
The conference was officially opened by Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine. "For the first time ever, Irish dairy exports exceeded €3 billion in value in 2013," he said. "Research, innovation and new product development are a key part of this growth dynamic. Using science and innovation to add value to a fresh traditional Irish dairy products is a core vision in Food Harvest 2020. This is a critical building block for dairy growth and I am pleased to see it feature as a central theme in the conference."
NDC Chairman Jackie Cahill thanked the dairy sector and Irish farmers for supporting the work of the NDC, particularly in this, its 50thAnniversary year.
He commented: "The NDC is now at the mid-point of a three year strategy – ‘Irish Dairy, Sustainable and Nutritious by Nature. It is a strategy which is working on different levels and in an integrated way, engaging all our partners and stakeholders to showcase the quality, excellence and versatility of our dairy products – which are sustainable and nutritious by nature."
"We see this as a golden era of opportunity for the Irish dairy sector, in this the 50th Anniversary year of the National Dairy Council," Cahill added. "The NDC is fully intends to play its part in helping to unlock dairy’s potential."