The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, chaired his first meeting of the Dairy Forum today, Wednesday 30th September, by video conference.
The Dairy Forum brings all key stakeholders in the sector together to discuss the strategic development of the sector, including farm organisations, the primary and secondary dairy processing sectors, banking and state agency representatives.
Minister McConalogue thanked all those in the dairy sector for their commitment in keeping supply chains operating effectively throughout the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Keeping milk and dairy products moving from farm to processor to the marketplace has taken a herculean effort by all here today. It reflects the commitment and collective effort which characterises the dairy sector in Ireland."
Minister McConalogue acknowledged the good work already being done to improving the environmental performance of the sector.
He stressed that this effort must be maintained and commented that:
"As the agri-food sector, we will be asked to increase our ambitions in terms of mitigating impacts on the environment in the future. This is an ask that is being put on all sectors of the economy and agriculture will have to play it’s part."
The Minister also stressed that, in relation to calf welfare, the highest standards must be maintained.
Minister McConalogue concluded by stating:
"I believe that we can collectively rise to the many challenges facing us and build on opportunities for future sustainable growth. I look forward to seeing continuous, strong engagement from the group as its work progresses."
The Forum included a substantive discussion on the market situation, an update on the Agri-Food Strategy 2030 and Access to Finance, and presentations from both the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Offices of the Revenue Commissioners on Brexit.
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