The Minister for Agricutlure, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has said he would like to see more partnerships within the dairy leading to less processors in Ireland.

At a CAP briefing in the Department today, he said that there are “probably too many dairy processors in the country” but he also said that moves towards rationalization and co-operation needs to come from within the industry and he could not push this.

However, he said that the New Zealand model of one main dairy processor would not be a good idea for Ireland. “I would not like to see the New Zealand model of just one player.

“This would not be good for Ireland. There would be real dangers if there was too few processors.”

He said that from an export point of view it would make more sense in terms of safety for exports to have more than one processor, if there were issues with one processor.

He also said that he would like to see more partnerships than acquisitions or mergers.

“But I cannot force this. The market will drive it.” He said rationalisation is happening with the likes of Wexford and Glanbia while Glanbia and Dairygold do share facilities.

However, he also said that having different players in the industry is good for driving innovation.