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ICOS Dairy Committee Chairman, Jerry Long has welcomed the announcement by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) that they will invest €35m in their Cheese manufacturing facility in Wexford.

Jerry Long said, “This announcement is a strong demonstration by GIIL of their confidence in the sector and their commitment to their supplier member base, particularly in Wexford. There is no doubt that dairy markets are in a very difficult place, and the outlook for 2016 is not very positive. Nonetheless markets will improve and we must be in a position to capitalise on the upturn when it comes. The strength of the Irish dairy co-operative model is the strong link between farmers and their industry which they own. This model has served us well and we must defend it.

Long re-iterated the need for measures to support farmers to cope with dairy market volatility. He welcomed the suite of fixed price offerings which were being made available to farmers as well as the investment by co-ops in advisory and farm development structures to support milk suppliers.

He highlighted the importance for the new Government to get to grips decisively with dairy market volatility and emphasised the importance of developing taxation measures like the ICOS 555 agri-taxation scheme to protect family farm incomes against volatility.

ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.

This week, ICOS launched a statement of Priorities for Political Parties and General Election Candidates in 2016. The Manifesto (and details of the ICOS 555 Income Stability tool can be viewed online here