The heads of the Irish dairy sector met with agriculture minister Joe Walsh yesterday to discuss the Prospectus Strategic Development Plan. This report, which was published in March this year, warned that Irish processing companies must unify or be forced out of business by international competition.
"Walsh has been meeting the main players individually but progress has been slow in getting any real movement in the area of co-operation," reported the Irish Times.
The Prospectus Strategic Development Plan for the Irish dairy processing sector recommended that the industry should rationalise the number of butter, powder and casein processing plants from 11 to four. However, little has happened in recent months to achieve this, in what is renowned to be a fiercely competitive business.
The prospectus plan also highlighted that the industry, which employs 9,000 workers, was already starting to fall behind its international competitors and must take swift action to implement a €300 million rationalisation and reconfiguration strategy.
Ireland's dairy industry is worth €2.5 billion annually and remains a key sector of the economy.