O'Neill praises the resilience of the dairy sector
Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill today praised the resilience of the dairy sector during the tough economic climate.
The Minister was speaking as she visited Dale Farm’s Dunmanbridge creamery near Cookstown to see at first hand the advanced cheese and milk powder processing facilities at the site. The creamery produces a comprehensive range of high quality cheeses and spray dried milk powders for major retail, food service and ingredient customers.
Minister O’Neill said: “The dairy sector has recovered well during the tough economic climate and I am confident it has potential to be a key driver in taking our economy out of recession. As the largest dairy processing company in the north, Dale Farm is a major player in our agri-food sector and provides local farmers with a market for over 400 million litres of milk annually.
“The success of Dale Farm demonstrates how the agri-food sector is unique in that the supply chain - farmers, processors, retailers – are often located close to one another, providing jobs and retaining wealth in our rural communities.”
The Minister continued: "The investment in milk powder and cheese making facilities here at the Dunmanbridge site and the foresight demonstrated by United Dairy Farmers and Dale Farm bodes well for the future sustainability of their members. Taken together with strategic investments at their other processing plants, Dale Farm has the capacity to produce an extensive portfolio of high value and innovative dairy products. These products are well positioned to compete in both existing and emerging markets throughout the world and maximise returns to their milk suppliers.”
The Minister was met by Group Chief Executive Dr David Dobbin and United Dairy Farmers’ Chairman, John Dunlop.