A new nationwide dairy group calling itself Dairy Ireland is set to launch a campaign to overhaul the way farmers are paid for their milk tomorrow.

The group wants a payment system similar to that operated in New Zealand where returns are based on milk solids rather than volumes.

In a Dairy Ireland conference in the Firgrove Hotel in Mitchelstown, Co Cork tomorrow details on the proposals are to be outlined.

The move will mirror similar initiatives being undertaken by  one of Europe’s largest dairy co-op, Friesland Campina.

The theme of the conference is ‘Moving Forward with Confidence’. This event aims to bring together key Irish and European leaders within the dairy industry.

The conference will be opened by the Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Tom Hayes TD.

Frans Keurentjes, board member for Dutch Dairy FrieslandCampina, will give an insight into the company’s success. Formed in 2008 with the merger of leading co-operatives Friesland & Campina, FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s leading dairy co-operatives in terms of milk pool and revenue. Of particular interest to Irish dairy farmers will be the recent announcements by Dutch dairy processors to invest more than €700m in processing facilities over the next two years; equivalent to almost a 5 cent per litre investment it is claimed.

There will also be a panel discussion about future strategies within the dairy sector, which will be chaired by Walter Power of Dairy Ireland. Finance expert John Crawley will present a paper outlining on-farm cashflow and business management. Other speakers include Dairygold CEO Jim Woulfe and Rabobank’s Barry Henry.

The conference will close with a short introduction by Dairy Ireland of its proposed new milk pricing policy, which its says this will further aid milk-pricing transparency and industry growth post-2015.