The CSO has published figures that illustrate clearly the extent of the collapse in milk price and the consequent dilemma that has left the State’s 18,000-odd dairy farmers having to work harder and longer producing more milk while still suffering very significant income loss or even wipe-out.
The ICMSA President, John Comer, has noted that today’s CSO figures for 2015 show a total dairy income for last year down €222 million despite a 14 % increase in milk production with the 2016 situation significantly worse. Mr Comer said that every serious observer now agreed that the essential problem – a temporary over-supply – must be addressed. He said the onus was now squarely on Minister Creed and the other ministers to convince Commissioner Hogan that the central question of over-supply had to be addressed at source through a voluntary milk production-reduction scheme that would subsidise farmers on a per litre basis to cut 2016 production relative to 2015 but which would not prevent those farmers who wished to expand from doing so. The ICMSA President said that the CSO figures showed clearly that the current reality for Ireland’s vital dairy farmer sector was that they were running harder – and not even staying still – but actually going backwards.
It was time for Minister Creed, his fellow Ministers and the Commission to look at the facts and figures and draw the only conclusion that logic permitted, concluded the ICMSA President.
Ends 28 June 2016.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office