Northern Ireland’s Dairy Farmers Confident For The Future

Dairy farmers in the Northern Ireland are confident about the future, with many considering plans for expansion, a new survey has shown.

The research, which covers milk suppliers for Lakeland Dairies reveals strong positivity within the sector, with 95 per cent of suppliers stating they will stay in production for the foreseeable future. In addition to farmers who have grown their output, half of Lakeland milk suppliers said they will further expand their milk production by approximately 3 per cent each year up to 2022.

By 2022, Lakeland milk suppliers say that they will increase cow numbers on the farm by 11 per cent and milk output from the farm will increase by 14 per cent to approximately 1.26 million litres.

Farmer owned Lakeland Dairies sources over 600m litres of milk annually from over 700 family farms in Northern Ireland. The co-operative processes milk into a wide range of dairy foodservice products and food ingredients. Lakeland has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products which it exports to 80 countries worldwide. The co-operative’s major Global Logistics Centre and foodservice manufacturing site is located at Newtownards, with butter and powder facilities also located at Banbridge.

The Lakeland Dairies survey asked the co-operative’s local milk suppliers about their intentions across several key areas including their future plans, age and succession intentions, herd size and output, land, buildings and livestock planning.

Lakeland Dairies chairman, Alo Duffy welcomed the positive findings of the survey.

“We’re very encouraged that almost all of our milk suppliers plan to stay in dairying and many will also continue to expand their output,” he said.

“Overall, there is considerable scope for Lakeland milk suppliers to profitably increase output. We are ready and able to process every litre of milk that our dairy farmers will produce.”