The dairy sector was in the process of improving its sustainability, but responding to shifts in policy takes time, Glanbia Ireland CEO Jim Bergin told the Fine Gael agriculture conference at the weekend.
“The dairy industry is not a tricycle, it’s a cruise liner and we are turning the cruise liner.
“We are refocusing the cruise liner on the next phase, which is about regenerative agriculture,” said Bergin. “We can adapt as an industry when the position is clear,” he explained, saying dairy was transitioning from a position of expansion to higher sustainability.
Dairy expansion was also discussed by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon, when he questioned whether farmers’ lifestyles benefited from the sector’s expansion.
“In this phenomenal growth, perhaps the piece that has been neglected has been farmers themselves, upon who the industry is built,” Minister Heydon said.
“The wheel has started to spin faster, and people are running faster to stand still,” he added.
Minister Heydon tasked Fine Gael’s new agricultural forum with presenting a “concrete policy position in place within three months” on the on-farm electricity microgeneration.