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The new Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue hosted a meeting of the Dairy Forum on 30th September.

The Dairy Forum last met in 2017 and its reestablishment is a commitment contained in the new Programme for Government. The Dairy Forum includes stakeholders across the dairy supply chain and its purpose is to discuss the strategic development of the sector. ICOS President Jerry Long and ICOS Dairy Committee Chairman, John O’Gorman represented ICOS at the Dairy Forum.

Minister McConalogue said great credit was due to the dairy industry for keeping the supply chain moving without disruption during the COVID-19, describing the achievement as a “herculean effort”.  

In fact, dairy sector exports increased by 8% in volume terms and 5% in value terms in H1 2020. The meeting itself focused largely on Brexit and its implications for the dairy sector should both sides fail to conclude a trade agreement before the end of the year.  The meeting also received presentations by Ornua on dairy markets, an update on the new agri-food 2030 strategy and information on access to finance.

The Revenue provided a very detailed presentation on Rules of Origin and the implications for mixed milk (Northern Irish & RoI products) once the UK leaves the Single Market and Customs Union on 31st December.

The presentations by the various speakers can be found here

Eamonn Farrell – Agri-Food Policy Executive