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Farm & Food May 2017

Published: Jun 08, 2017
  • Cavan based Lakeland Dairies reported an operating profit of €7.2m for 2016, half of what it was in 2015 when they achieved a healthier €15.5m.  The company is believed to be looking to increase its presence in China following Brexit.  Milk processing was 1.1bn litres during 2016 which is 20% of the State’s output.
  • Mondelez reported they were back to profit for the 12 months ending March 2016, with pre-tax profits standing at €7.6m.
  • 15% of farmers still use paper forms for Basic Payment Schemes and Areas of Natural Constraint schemes.  However the Department of Agriculture is phasing these out and paper applications will no longer be accepted in 2018.  Farmers are urged to get online. 
  • A survey for 1000 farmers has raised concerns about succession with 70% of respondents (with children) saying they do not know who will take over from them.  47% of farmers would not encourage their children to go into farming.  75% of beef farmers with children do not have a child working on the farm or planning to work on the farm.  However, of all respondents (with or without children), 84% would not sell their farm and just 16% would consider selling. 
  • The UK supplied nearly 90% of all beef imports into Ireland during 2016 with nearly 26,000 tonnes.  The UK also supplied the majority of sheep imports during 2016 with just over 3,400 tonnes. 
  • Farmers milk receipts are expected to break through the 7bn litres threshold in 2017.  This will boost dairy farmers profits.  Milk supplies are expected to grow 5-6% this year.  Harvest 2020 had set a target of 7.5bn litres by 2020 and it looks like Ireland will reach this target early, assuming things remain relatively stable. 
  • Farm Ireland National Survey of Farmers 2017 show that 75% of farmers are unhappy with the current system of direct payments, with 41% saying they are not getting enough direct payments and the majority preferring a fairer price for their produce rather than a subsidy.  80% are happy to remain in the EU. 
  • Craft Brewers, Carlow Brewery Company, have seen Estrella Galicia from Spain take a 32% in their brand.  Carlow Brewery Company trade as O’Hara’s and are one of the largest craft beer producers in Ireland.  The Spanish company currently have a 6% of the Spanish beer market. 
  • The Carbery Group based in Cork increased their annual earnings in 2016 by 4.8% to €37m. Turnover however decreased to €340m from the previous year’s figure of €349.5m.  Investment by the Group over the past 5 years has amounted to €78.2m.
  • In the event of the London-Brussels talks (over the UK’s decision to leave the EU) failing, an automatic World Trade Organisation tariff of 35% would apply to the UK for dairy products and 17% for meat products which would greatly impact Ireland’s trade with them.  Jean Claude Juncker the President of the EU Commission said that the UK were unrealistic about negotiations so far.  

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