Speaking following the return home from China of the the Irish food industry delegation led by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, IFA President John Bryan said a great deal of ingredients and consumer-products business has been done by Irish dairy co-ops arising from the visit.
John Bryan said: “What I saw in China, and in my recent meetings with the main dairy co-ops, are Irish co-operatives increasingly focussing their sales away from bulk commodities and towards added-value products developed in co-operation with the Irish Dairy Board and global customers. Co-ops should stop talking down milk prices based on weaker basic commodity returns when an increasing share of our exports goes to regular, contracted customers and attracts significant premiums.”
He said all the main co-ops and the Irish Dairy Board were represented on the food industry delegation, and all were actively involved in making contacts and deals with existing and potential new Chinese customers.
The IFA President said, “More and more of the dairy products we sell to our global customers are sophisticated ingredients and customised products, many branded and/or specifically developed to meet the needs of specific customers.”
“All of the deals which have been done, or will be done, with Chinese customers will be for sophisticated ingredients or consumer products, and they will play an important role in sustaining strong milk prices,” he concluded.