World class milk testing crucial to dairy expansion

A year from the launch of the independent milk testing laboratory IML, IFA National Dairy Chairman Kevin Kiersey said he wanted remind all in the Irish dairy industry that world class, independently and internationally accredited milk testing must remain among the top priorities in the industry’s development plans in anticipation of expansion post 2015, as it is crucial to secure top quality milk for value added markets.

A year from the launch of the independent milk testing laboratory IML, IFA National Dairy Chairman Kevin Kiersey said he wanted remind all in the Irish dairy industry that world class, independently and internationally accredited milk testing must remain among the top priorities in the industry’s development plans in anticipation of expansion post 2015, as it is crucial to secure top quality milk for value added markets.

“The IFA Dairy Committee has just visited the IML milk laboratory, established 12 months ago as a joint venture by Progressive Genetics and the UK’s National Milk Records, to learn that it is about to obtain world class ISO 17025 accreditation,” Mr Kiersey said.

“Co-ops have recently focused, both as part of the KPKMG/ICOS discussions and on a bilateral basis, on ways to maximise co-operation and utilisation of industry facilities. However, the importance of world class, independently accredited milk testing for payment and other purposes seems to have fallen from their agenda. This is a mistake in the context of our ambitions to expand and develop our industry to world class standards,” he added.

He stated that fully accredited milk testing not only improves farmers’ confidence in the accuracy and fairness of their payment test results, it must also provide them with timely SCC, TBC, constituents and other information which allow them to better manage high quality milk production.

“This is not only in their own interest, but it is critical for the processing and global marketing of our milk in the context of expansion. World class, independently and internationally accredited milk testing must be part and parcel of a lean, fit- for-purpose Irish dairy industry,” he concluded.