There is huge market potential for the dairy industry, but we must keep the quality high, according to the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes.

He said dairy production will be the hallmark of this economy and Ireland has to market products that are top quality and every section of the industry must have that high quality. “With our expanded milk production we need to be careful with what we produce at all times quality.”

He was speaking at the National Dairy Council (NDC) annual conference. He said that last year’s record dairy exports was due to the application of science and research with the agri-food industry was key. we are now home to some of the most cutting edge research in the world and today’s conference will contribute to that agenda.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the NDC and its role has been to strength the market position and promote the consumption of Irish dairy products, the Minister said.

Jackie Cahill, ICMSA President, and Chairman of the NDC, said the dairy sector will play a huge role in the recovery of the Irish economy, but the industry must hold onto its green image of sustainable production.

This week is National Dairy Week and the NDC is running a number of events to promote dairy awareness and consumption.