The dairy world is at a crossroads, globally, nationally and on a lot of individual farms. We have seen what were once growing dairy countries reach a ceiling in terms of production. We have seen new environmental restrictions imposed on sectors. Additionally, we have seen a continued criticism of livestock systems around the world, with calls for a more environmentally sustainable output and product. These alone should make the dairy industry sit up straight and recognise that there are challenges to the sector that need to be met head on.

The environment we live in is effectively limiting what cows will be milked in particular countries. What impact will this have on Irish production? Will there be more cows milked in Ireland in coming years? Will co-ops need to invest more in processing capacity? Will these businesses evolve and develop new products to meet new customer requirements?

The dairy world is changing and evolving. Ireland is becoming a bigger and bigger player on world markets. As an island, we are heading for producing 10 billion litres of milk. Over 90% of this product processed on the island of Ireland is exported. More and more, this product is going further away from Ireland. This brings more complexity and more cost.

As an industry, we are increasingly targeting regions where the structures of agribusiness are only developing and no track record of trade has been established.

The dairy sector in these countries is evolving at a fast pace. There is no predetermined way to do business, as the supermarket chains familiar to us in Ireland are not as commonplace elsewhere in the world.

Irish dairy farmers and the industry at large need to keep up to speed with what’s happening on farms, on the island of Ireland and in the dairy world in general. We hope Dairy Day 2019 can go some of the way to keeping you informed and up to speed. Stay safe and enjoy the journey.

Three stages and over 40 speakers

We will have three stages running concurrently with something for every member of the family farm business. The Skills Hub will deal with the hot topics inside the farm gate. The Paddock will host discussion like which is best – leasing or buying a tractor. Finally, the stage called Beyond the Parlour will host speakers from around the world to share what is happening in dairy globally and what Irish dairy farmers need to be aware of.

We will question if the dairy farmers of the future are getting the right training. There is something for everyone at Dairy Day 2019.