IFA: Collection of Milk from Farms Critical Issue; Glanbia Announcement on Uncollected Milk Welcomed

IRELAND - IFA President Joe Healy wrote to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and the National Emergency Response Group regarding the urgent situation facing a rapidly rising number of dairy farmers whose milk cannot be collected.
calendar icon 5 March 2018
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IFA has asked that local authorities co-ordinate their actions with co-ops to prioritise the clearing of roads leading to dairy farms.

Mr Healy said milk is normally collected by private hauliers on contract to milk processing co-ops, using both articulated and rigid tankers, the latter being better able to handle difficult conditions.

The hauliers have done trojan work since early this week to collect milk before the storm hit, and to keep collections going for as long as possible on Wednesday and Thursday.

However, now, in many of the co-ops’ catchment areas, milk collections have had to be suspended.

"Most dairy farms farmers have static refrigerated milk storage tanks that can hold up to two days’ worth of milk. Already, some farmers have filled these and they will have to dispose of milk if it is not collected urgently.

"This is obviously seriously problematic from a food wastage point of view and would cause a massive economic loss to the farmers concerned. If it continues it could also affect the availability of fresh milk on supermarket shelves," Mr Healy said.

IFA Welcomes Glanbia's Announcement on Uncollected Milk

IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan has welcomed the announcement by Glanbia (Ireland) that they will pay farmers 20c/l for milk that cannot be collected due to difficulties arising from extreme weather conditions.

"This is a welcome signal of support, which we hope others will follow. However, the key issue is try to get milk collections going again," he said.

"It is welcome to hear the Taoiseach state that this will be a priority for councils working with the relevant co-ops. It is important that this translates into real action on the ground," he concluded.

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