Strathroy Dairies’ Managing Director Ruairi Cunningham has told Agriland that the roll out of the new Bord Bía Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme has ‘outed’ the National Dairy Council (NDC) in terms of that organisation’s true motives in developing its ‘Guarantee’ scheme.

“We now know that the Bord Bía initiative will include the inspection of dairy farms in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“Surely, this makes an absolute nonsense of the claims made by the NDC that its guarantee scheme has a focus on provenance and quality. We have consistently stated from the outset that the NDC scheme was introduced to keep Strathroy out of the southern Irish market.

“This is a fundamentally flawed approach to take as all of the consumer research carried out on this issue confirms that Irish consumers are interested in only two issues when it comes to buying milk: price and quality. We tick all the boxes in this regard.”

Ruairi Cunningham continued: “The Bord Bía initiative officially recognises the all island dimension to milk production and dairy processing in Ireland. And that’s the way it should be. In our own case we have a fast growing producer supply base in Counties Wexford, Donegal and Tyrone.

“We now intend contacting Bord Bía on this issue as a matter of urgency. It would be our intention to put the Bord Bía logo on our packs at some stage down the line.