With all that’s happening on both emissions and stocking rate reductions in Ireland, it would lead you to believe that milking parlour manufacturers might be under pressure.
The fact that they are buzzing on dairy expansion just shows how the rest of the world is moving as our competitive grass-based system gets hammered.
Last week, we had a feature on De Laval in Denmark. This week it’s Dairymaster. Both manufacturers are developing solutions for the growth of mega dairies with thousands of cows per farm across north Africa and the Middle East.
In all cases, the feed for the cows will be flown in from the US and Canada, with breeding stock sourced all over the world. Significantly, right now, just 25% of Dairymaster sales are destined for the Irish market.
Looking at the range of new products launched this week, it is clearly setting its sights firmly on servicing the needs of the growing mega dairy market, with huge rotary parlours milking thousands of cows in the deserts.
So, similar to our beef trade comments last week on Brazil and the impact it is having on global trade, the dairy sector in Ireland also seems to be getting passed out.
The milk is being produced elsewhere. Irish companies are benefitting from the growth.
Our farmers are getting passed out. The new milk from the sand dunes is coming at a much higher economic and environmental cost, but presumably with huge government support as these countries invest in food security.
Can we look forward to a renewed appetite in Europe based on Ursula von der Leyen’s comments yesterday morning that the EU is open to “a strategic dialogue” on the future of agriculture in Europe? If not carbon leakage will suck the life out of food and farming in Ireland.