23 Apr 2019
Milk Quality Ireland launched to address new challenges facing the Irish dairy sector
The Irish Milk Quality Co-operative Society Ltd (IMQCS) has changed its name to Milk Quality Ireland Co-operative Society Ltd following the adoption of a special resolution.
Milk Quality Ireland is a collaborative body with a remit in the area of dairy farm infrastructure, which includes representatives from the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the dairy co-ops, Teagasc, milking machine manufacturers and milking machine technicians.
Milk Quality Ireland was established 30 years ago in 1989 to improve milk quality standards in Ireland, to provide suitable training and certification programmes in milking machine testing and installation and to strive to ensure that Irish milking machine installation and testing standards equate with best international practice. Milk Quality Ireland also maintains a register of certified milking machine technicians, with 263 technicians currently on the Milk Quality Ireland Register.
In recent years, Milk Quality Ireland has focused on broader areas of milk quality, as well as providing training and certification of milking machine technicians. Milk Quality Ireland will continue this important work with a renewed focus on helping the dairy industry and farmers to meet significant new demands in relation to milk quality.
These new demands relate to the adoption of non-chlorine cleaning protocols for milking equipment and bulk milk tanks, which will require changes to existing practices at farm level in order to respond to market requirements. The transition to Selective Dry Cow Therapy due to new legislation will require careful oversight and input by all stakeholders to ensure milk quality is safeguarded.
Milk Quality Ireland will also play a vital role in ensuring that there are sustainable career pathways and fit for purpose educational programmes for the service providers that Irish dairy farmers depend upon and help to underpin our industry’s high-quality standards.
By Eamonn Farrell – Agri Food Policy Executive