The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Dairy Committee met with the chief executive officer of the National Dairy Council (NDC), Zoe Kavanagh, to get an outline of the NDC’s new strategy, which is aimed at fortifying consumer trust in Irish milk products and production.
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In its new strategy, the NDC has positioned itself “front and centre to defend Irish dairy farmers’ social licence to farm”, according to the IFA.

“There is a growing disconnect between farmers and consumers. We, as farmers, need to demonstrate and reassure consumers that Irish dairy is not only nutritious but also environmentally sustainable,” committee chair, Stephen Arthur said.

Dairy and carbon efficiency
According to the farm association, the carbon footprint of Irish milk produce is less than half that of the global average.

The temperate climate in Ireland affords farmers the opportunity to produce milk from grass which is naturally carbon efficient, according to the dairy committee.

“The NDC has a strong track record in constructively communicating with consumers,” Arthur continued.

“The NDC needs the continued support of all farmers and milk processors in communicating the overwhelmingly strong environmental credentials of Irish dairy farmers.

“Maintaining a strong reputation domestically is the cornerstone on which we build our global reputation.

“We need a united voice through the NDC to cut through all the hype, and demonstrate that [Irish] farmers are global leaders when it comes to producing milk efficiently,” Arthur concluded.

The meeting with the NDC comes amid comments by the IFA senior policy executive to Agriland that Irish dairy is environmentally sustainable.

The NDC was established by the Minister for Agriculture in 1964, as a semi-state body to promote and support the consumption of milk and dairy products.

The council changed from a semi-state body to a private farmer funded organisation in 1973 after Ireland joined the EEC (now EU).

The NDC is effectively a marketing agency which plays a significant role in leading a sustainable industry with a focus on consumers and the role of milk and milk products in their diet and lifestyles.

97 Milk’s slogans supporting whole milk are appearing ever farther afield from the group’s home base in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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