Pat McCormack, ICMSA President pictured at the ICMSA AGM which took place at the South Court Hotel, Limerick.
Pic: Don Moloney

ICMSA say restriction on sustainable dairying is “hugely disappointing”.

Speaking following a meeting with Glanbia Ireland on its proposed peak management scheme, the President of ICMSA said that it is hugely disappointing that an Irish processor has found itself in a situation outside of its control whereby it must introduce such a scheme and restrict family farms from reaching their sustainable potential on an annual basis.  

Pat McCormack said that while the impression is given by some that Irish dairy is based on a factory-scale operation, the reality is that Irish dairy is dominated by real family farm operations producing milk sustainably off grass in a way that economically ‘backbones’ the rural communities involved.  Mr. McCormack pointed out that these are the very family farms being put at risk by the current legal dispute and it is the factory-farm dairying in other countries that will ultimately benefit.

“The proposed restriction at peak will actually undermine our efforts in delivering greater sustainability. It is now essential that our Government acknowledge the importance of milk production to the rural dairying communities and the wider national economy and puts in place a policy that allows dairy to continue to develop sustainably without being tied up in legal disputes.  The attacks on dairy have gone on for far too long and it is time that our Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine and our Government robustly defended the sector and allowed for its future development”, said Mr. McCormack.

The ICMSA President said the Glanbia peak management proposal will create serious difficulties for many farmers and it is essential that each individual supplier is provided with details of the actual implications as soon as possible. “Individual suppliers should be told what it will mean for each individual operation and what options are available to them. It’s also critical that following consultation with individual suppliers, the Glanbia board review the proposal and make amendments to address any anomalies that may arise”, he said.  

“This must only be a temporary measure and the necessary capacity should be put in place as soon as possible. Future Government policy will be critical: they either decide to allow family farms to expand sustainably or they shut us down with the catastrophic implications for our rural and national economies”, concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends   16 March 2021

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office