3 Mar 2023
ICOS Dairy Committee elects Niall Matthews as new Chair
The ICOS Dairy Committee has elected Niall Matthews as its new Chair. (Picture attached). Niall is a dairy farmer from Tully, Co. Louth, and is Chair of Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society Ltd. He farms in partnership with his wife Juana, with their son and two daughters. He holds a Degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin. Niall takes over from John O’Gorman in the role of Chair.
Niall Matthews said:
“I’m delighted to be elected as Chair of the ICOS Dairy Committee. I would like to sincerely thank my predecessor John O’Gorman for his immense contribution to ICOS and wish to acknowledge his strong leadership during the Food Vision Dairy Group process on behalf of ICOS and its membership.
“The Irish dairy co-operative sector is central to the success of Ireland’s export-led economy, with dairy exports valued at €6.8 billion in 2022. Notably, every €1 of exports of dairy goods contributes to a 90 cent spend within the Irish economy.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the dairy sector to ensure a farmer led approach to the important issues facing our industry ranging from income volatility, climate action & water quality, dairy-beef integration, animal health & welfare and supporting the next generation of dairy farmers.
“The Irish dairy sector is experiencing increasing regulatory challenges throughout its supply chain. Undoubtably, one of the biggest and most immediate challenge is the review of the Nitrates derogation due later this year. I am calling on the EU and Irish authorities to adopt a fair and balanced approach to the forthcoming review that will allow an opportunity for the recently introduced changes to Ireland’s Nitrate Action Plan and lower fertiliser use by farmers to contribute to an improvement in water quality. The review must consider the serious consequences a reduction in the maximum stocking rate combined with banding will have on farm income, an already overheated land rental market and the contribution of the dairy sector to the economy.”
About the ICOS Dairy Committee:
The ICOS Dairy Committee is comprised of 15 representatives from Ireland’s milk processing and purchasing co-operatives. It is responsible for the formulation of policy positions affecting the Irish dairy industry. ICOS (The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) currently represents 130 co-operative enterprises in Ireland, with over 150,000 individual members, a combined turnover of €14 billion and employing more than 12,000 people.