The recent devaluation is set to help Ireland build its position in the UK dairy market, according to Bord Bia CEO, Adian Cotter.

Cotter said while Europe’s population will peak in 2020 at and then start to decline, uniquely the UK’s population is set to grow by 10m people in the next five years.

“That is a market right on our own door step,” Cotter told members of the Oireathtas Joint Committee on Agriculture.

In a hearing on the potential difficulties and price volatility facing the dairy industry in 2015, he said, irrespective about the talk about dairy markets around the world we must look at that hugely important market right on our doorstep.

Cotter highlighted in particular the events of recent weeks which has resulted in a significant deprecation of the euro.

“We now have an extra advantage and probably a wide window of opportunity that could last for a long period of time, to dedicate ourselves in a sense to building our position in the UK market.

“It is an important market we have to develop it and we cannot ignore it,” he said.

The UK remains a key market for Irish dairy exports accounting for almost one third of the total.

A decline of around 10% was recorded in exports during 2014 to stand at around €1 billion. A decline in butter and infant formula exports more than offset a rise in cheese.