Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 18 November, 2004
Written Answers. - Dairy Sector.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
152. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the extent to which output in the dairy industry has increased or decreased in the past ten years; the future prospects in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29620/04]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: The supply of milk from Irish producers to the dairy processing sector is subject to the production constraints imposed by the milk quota regime. Given that a levy is payable on milk production over and above Ireland’s milk quota allocation, milk production volumes in Ireland have remained relatively stable over the last ten years.
The table below shows the production of Ireland’s main dairy products in the years 1994 and 2003. It is clear that an increased proportion of Ireland’s milk pool is being utilised in the production of cheese and casein, with a consequent reduction in the manufacture of milk powders; the production of butter and butteroil remains relatively stable. These trends are broadly in line with those in other EU member states.
The Prospectus report entitled, Strategic Development Plan for the Irish Dairy Processing Sector, recommends a readjustment in the Irish dairy industry’s product portfolio with reduced production of commodity type dairy products and a greater emphasis on the development of higher  margin products. Ultimately, it is a matter for the industry to respond to market demands and the realities of the new CAP support framework in deciding the product portfolio which will maximise returns from the marketplace.
Dáil Éireann 592 Written Answers. Dairy Sector.