The members of the Ardglass Dairy Discussion Group take great encouragement from the news that Glanbia Ireland have set out a transition period to further incentivise the production of high quality milk.
NI lags well behind most European countries because we are incentivised to increase yield rather than milk solids.
The mobilisation of water in cows uses a lot of energy, which is even more wasteful when producing lower-quality milk. Most of our milk is dried and processed for export and due to its lower quality the result is poor energy efficiency for processors and increased costs, which must come off the milk price paid to producers.
The environmental challenges facing our industry in the future are clear. Farmers and processors must work together to overcome them. Incentivising higher milk solids from all NI dairy cows will go a long way to improving our carbon footprint.
Our group members are currently suppliers of Lakeland and Dale Farm and we put this question to our board members: when will you stop dragging your heels and follow the lead of Glanbia? Better incentives for milk quality is the first step, full milk solids payment should be the end goal.