The Irish Organic Milk Suppliers Co-op (IOMS) has become the first group in the country to be officially recognised as a dairy producer organisation (PO) by the Department of Agriculture.

The PO recognition was granted to the group on 22 January.

Group chair Gavin Lynch said the PO will start out in “the spirit of co-operation rather than confrontation” when engaging with processors.

“There is a lot that the PO can bring to the table, such as mapping the production of organic milk, guaranteeing minimum supply volumes at certain times and providing a forum for processors to relay their issues and concerns,” he said.


Lynch added that PO recognition status for the group represents an important step towards addressing the imbalance that exists between producer and processor in the organic dairy sector.

“Organic dairy farmers have been squeezed very hard over the past two years with high costs and the milk price paid to most producers has failed to reflect this fact.

“If something isn’t done now, we will lose huge volumes of organic winter milk and the consumer will be looking at empty shelf space for a good chunk of the year.

“This is no basis for a thriving industry, so we look forward to sitting down with the organic milk processors in the spirit of co-operation to find a sustainable and profitable pathway forward for the sector,” he said.

Organic farmers

The IOMS Co-op was formed last year when a group of Ireland’s organic dairy farmers came together to address issues facing the sector.

The organisation said it represents the majority of Ireland’s organic dairy farmers.

Bord Bia put the number of organic dairy farmers in Ireland at 75 in 2021.

Separately, the Munster Dairy Producer Organisation (MDPO), made up of milk suppliers to Kerry Group, also applied for PO recognition.

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