ICMSA on Covid-19: Irish dairy should ‘keep calm and plan for every eventuality’

It is important that people remain calm and plan for every eventuality in the face of the uncertainty facing the agri-food sector due to Covid-19, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

In the event of an issue arising, ICMSA president Pat McCormack stressed that it is essential for the Irish dairy processors to be ready to cooperate in every way possible.

This includes: processing milk for each other; sharing milk collection routes; or even sharing skilled staff if required, the president said.

The president commented following talks with sector stakeholders in recent days.

McCormack said that the regulatory authorities must also assist this level of cooperation by not placing any unnecessary barriers to co-operation.

He added that he is confident that the “founding principle” of Irish co-op processing would assert itself in any crisis of this nature.

“We are in an uncertain period and it is important that everyone remains calm and does not create an unnecessary sense of panic,” the president added.

The Irish dairy sector is based on the cooperative model – that is its heritage and founding principle.

“That pooled strength, unity and original drive must and will come to the fore in a time of crisis,” McCormack concluded.