The expertise of the Irish farming industry and the commitment of individual farmers and their families are vital ingredients in the success of Irish dairy – here at home and abroad. We’re proud that ours set the standard by which other dairy products are measured. The goodness of Irish dairy is in so much of what we eat and drink, it’s no surprise that it’s also in our DNA.
The Irish dairy industry is a key component of the economy in Ireland, providing much needed employment spread across rural areas. Our industry processes over 7.5 billion litres of milk, across 30 sites and is supplied by 18,000 family farms, many of whom are owners of the primary business. Since the abolition of quotas, we are striving to be a global leader in the development of a high value, environmentally sustainable dairy industry based on our extensive grass-based dairy system. Irish dairy companies have invested hundreds of millions towards this goal, resulting in over €4 billion worth of exports in dairy products, ingredients and nutritional products per annum. Irish dairy is exported to 155+ markets worldwide with international markets beyond the EU becoming increasingly important. Irish primary dairies continue to be 100% Irish owned entities, and the quality of our produce is reflected in the fact that 3 of the world’s major specialised nutrition companies have chosen to base key secondary processing sites in Ireland.
Dairy economy growth comes from a combination of a major surge in global demand for dairy products particularly in emerging economies and the ending of supply controls in the EU with the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.
The impact of dairy expansion has been hugely significant in terms of return on investment (including state support) and even more importantly the huge economy wide impact of dairy expansion across the Irish economy.