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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IRISH AGRICULTURE MINISTER

Irish minister commits to growing dairy production by 50% in 5 years

By Fiona Barry , 30-Sep-2013
Last updated on 30-Sep-2013 at 15:55 GMT

Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
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Enda Kenny, Ireland’s Prime Minister, and Simon Coveney, the Irish Minister for Agriculture said the country will take advantage of changes to Europe’s CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) which will allow increased dairy production.

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.

Enda Kenny, Ireland's Prime Minister, addresses "Our Food, Our Future"

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.

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