Independent economist Ciaran Fitzgerald told the National Dairy Council’s annual conference in Dublin that the Irish dairy sector is one of the few sectors that has shown strong growth in recent years.
“It already directly and indirectly employs 34,000 people and is a huge part of our export trade with dairy exports valued at NZ$4.49 billion in 2011,” Fitzgerald says.
With the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015 that growth is predicted to increase by 50%.
“Because the dairy sector buys 85% of its inputs in the Irish economy, a NZ$2.2 billion increase in output will have a huge positive multiplier impact across the economy – and also across the regions,” Fitzgerald says.
Council chief executive Zoë Kavanagh claimed that as a business model, the Irish dairy industry is unique. Its foundations are a community of farmers, processors and professionals who, in their combined activities, deliver excellence in an often challenging and highly competitive environment
University College Dublin economist John Fanning calls the dairy industry the “jewel in the crown” of Ireland’s economic recovery.
• Alan Harmon