June 24, 2011 
Ireland's dairy farms prove globally competitive


Ireland's dairy farming industry remains competitive worldwide, according to a study conducted by Teagasc, the country's agriculture and food authority.
Irish dairy farming remains competitive internationally, according to a study conducted by agriculture and food authority Teagasc and economic consultant Dr. Michael Keane.
The study found that on average dairy farmers here offer some of the best value in the EU. However when additional costs like labour and capital are included some of this advantage is eroded.
The report also highlighted the value of scale in ensuring that the sector remains competitive internationally.
Larger Irish farms remain quite competitive globally, the report found, though countries like New Zealand currently have lower production costs than Ireland.
Teagasc economist Trevor Donnellan said the end of the EU quota system in two years may give small dairy farmers the opportunity to increase production so these economies of scale could be exploited.
The study looked at milk production in the EU, New Zealand, the US and Argentina and found that the relative competitiveness of Irish dairy farming to other EU15 countries had improved.

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said ongoing public and private investment in research and technology was key to enhancing Ireland's competitive position in dairy into the future.

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