In a podcast recorded after his speech at “Our Food, Our Future”, a food sustainability conference in Dublin on September 26, Coveney told DairyReporter.com’s Fiona Barry the Irish government is “committed at the very top” to growing dairy production by 50% within five years.
“This isn’t just about producing liquid milk,” said Coveney. “It’s about infant formula, it’s about sports nutrition, it’s about whey product; it’s about innovation, it’s about skimmed and semi-skimmed powder, it’s about cheeses, it’s about yogurts, and all of the other dairy products that are now growing out of a growing dairy sector here.”
The Minister for Agriculture, who claimed that Ireland’s grass-based farms are among the most eco-friendly in the world, told us that EU restrictions of the Irish dairy industry’s carbon emissions were counterproductive to the environment.
“The problem is if you limit a country in terms of food production growth in an effort to keep carbon footprint down, you are simply transferring that food production to some other part of the world which may be producing food at a much higher carbon footprint.”