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Composition of Dairy Expansion Activation Group Finalised

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today said that the seven members joining the Chairman Dr Sean Brady on the Dairy Expansion Activation Group will play a key role in the move to implement the expansion in milk production envisaged in the Food Harvest 2020 report.  The Group will be comprised of dairy farmers, processors and Teagasc, as follows:

- William Keane,  Dairy Farmer,  Ardmore,  Co. Waterford

- Padraig McCarthy,  Dairy Farmer,  Lixnaw,  Co. Kerry

- Thomas Joe Tuffy,  Dairy Farmer,  Enniscrone,  Co. Sligo

- Jim Bergin,  CEO,  Glanbia Food Ingredients Ireland

- Michael Hanley,  CEO,  Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society Ltd

- Jim Woulfe,  CEO,  Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd.

- Dr. Pat Dillon,  Head of Centre,  Teagasc Moorepark

The Minister indicated that the Group will have the freedom to identify what it considers to be the most appropriate 'next steps' and will address in practical terms the implementation of the recommendations in the report.  He has asked Dr. Brady to submit an initial 'road map' to the High Level Implementation Group, which the Minister chairs, by the end of November. This will highlight key milestones, and identify obstacles to implementation and how these should be overcome, from both a production and a processing perspective.

"It is quite clear that the dairy sector has enormous potential to lead not only the development of the agricultural economy but that of the national economy over the next decade and beyond. In order to secure that future we need to take a co-ordinated, national approach. The Dairy Expansion Activation Group will play a critically important role in this regard, and I wish the members well in their endeavours. I look forward to seeing the critical steps being addressed in the coming months to ensure we can meet the already agreed objective of expanded milk production."

Date Released: 15 October 2010