Dáil Éireann - Volume 373 - 24 June, 1987

Written Answers. - Disposal of Butter-Fat.

12. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his views on whether the disposal of butter-fat is the most serious problem facing Irish agriculture; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): Difficulties in the butter-fat market have posed substantial problems not only for Ireland but for all other dairy producing countries. Our heavy dependence on butter production has made us more vulnerable than most in these circumstances.

Reductions in milk production within the EC and elsewhere should go some way towards improving the market for [3358] butter-fat. Ongoing diversification by the Irish dairy industry away from butter production will also contribute to a solution. Already there are signs that this is taking place and it is expected that butter production in the current year will be considerably reduced on last year's figures.