While global milk supplies have increased significantly, Lakeland Dairies’ CEO Michael Hanley believes that dairying will continue to outperform other sectors for the foreseeable future and he remains optimistic.

“Lakeland Dairies has an intensive focus on new business development with high quality contracts and a growing customer base. Our dairy plants have world class technology, maximising the value of every litre of milk sent to us for processing. We have made major investments in facilities and we have the finance to invest further where needed.

“With multiple dairy foodservice and food ingredient products, we export our output to blue-chip customers in 70 countries across the globe.  This includes top restaurant chains, five star hotels, global airlines and multinational food manufacturers.”

He said Lakeland customers want more of our dairy products and we have the capacity to meet that growing demand with our expertise in long-life UHT technology, ice-creams, butterfats, powders, caseins, lactose and whey. “We have successfully built, commissioned  and paid for a new milk dryer at Bailieboro. This has streamlined our butter and powder production onto one major site. Our global foodservice distribution facilities are also being upgraded. We have the required international distributor partnerships and we have access to all main dairy markets across the world.

Lakeland milk suppliers have indicated that they will increase milk production in the years ahead, taking the co-op’s milk processing close to 1 billion litres annually by 2020.

“We’re providing information and advice to encourage efficient milk production and to plan for profitable expansion in the future. Our priority is to achieve all future growth on a long term and sustainable basis.  We will continue to pay a leading milk price while ploughing all of our growing profits back into the Lakeland, farmer owned and controlled co-operative,” he said.

“As a farmer-owned dairy co-operative, our mission is to promote the long term future and success of farming and to provide the best possible returns from the market to our milk producers.”

He also said that Lakeland milk suppliers are also looking forward to expanded output. “Ireland’s competitive advantage in pasture based production can be profitably exploited by farmers. With increasing output, it is essential for farmers to develop a sustainable and profitable production model. We have also engaged in a three-year Dairy Efficiency Programme in conjunction with Teagasc to promote efficiency in production at farm level.”