DairyLink Ireland

19th March 2015


Speaking about the Dairylink Programme Lakeland Dairies chief executive Michael Hanley highlighted said, Ireland has a global market and Lakeland customers in 70 countries are seeking an increased supply of products. He emphasised the strength of a spread of outlets, he said that China is just one of those countries to be serviced from the co-opís new Ďstate-of-the-artí global distribution centre at its factory in Newtownards.

Hanley is extremely positive about the future for the dairy industry and welcomed the Dairylink initiative to help dairy farmers make best use of their resources.

John Gilliland, Director of Agriculture at Devenish, said that the link to the rest of the world is key to the expansion of the industry as it has been for Devenish, now selling product in 40 countries. expressing support for the new programme and the need for a focus on sustainability, Gilliland said that research and the use of science are fundamental to the business of Devenish, which employs more than 30 post-doctoral staff.

The Director of CAFRE, John Fay, highlighted the interest that had been generated through the NI Suckler Beef Programme run by the Irish Farmers Journal in conjunction with CAFRE and ABP, and expressed confidence that Dairylink Ireland will similarly make its mark with the people involved in day to day production on farms. He welcomed the involvement of the wide range of stakeholders from both sides of the border and the backing of Permanent Secretary Noel Lavery, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer at Teagasc, referred to the development of the BETTER farms programme over the years and the good experience gained by stakeholders working together. He expressed the support of Teagasc for the initiative being taken with Dairylink Ireland. Teagasc dairy adviser from Cavan, David Colbourne, is on the Dairylink management group.

AFBI deputy chief executive, Sinclair Mayne, commended the initiative and referred to the great asset which Ireland has in its ability to grow grass. He said that making optimum use of that most cost-effective input in varying conditions and with optimum use of concentrate feeding is one of the challenges for farmers and researchers. He welcomed the opportunity for researchers to interact with farmers and said he looked forward to questions that would be raised by farmers.

Delight

Irish Farmers Journal editor and chief executive, Justin McCarthy, expressed delight at the combination of stake- holders brought together in Dairylink Ireland and said that it was fully in line with the aims of the Agricultural Trust, publishers of the Irish Farmers Journal. He hoped that all would gain from the initiative, particularly the dairy farmers participating and the wider audience of farmers who would read about the experiences reported.

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