It was very interesting to read the articles in a recent edition of the Irish Farmers Journal that mentioned Dairygold’s current staff and labour circumstances. A 7% drop in production is leading to, among other measures, reduced staff working hours, a recruitment freeze and cuts in overtime. Perhaps this might act as a wake-up call for those who have little regard for what we farmers do and for those who want to regulate us out of business. Our farms, and the food we produce, have a direct effect on the lives and incomes of everyone in rural Ireland. While we produce some of the best, healthiest and most sustainable food in the world, there seems to be an underlying view that the farmer can always be restricted more, regulated more and forced to always shoulder the burden.

The fall in output on farms supplying Dairygold has had a direct effect on the jobs and incomes of the people working in their communities. Policymakers and commentators should take note.