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Domestic milk intake down by 3.9%


According to the latest March 2015 figures of the Central Statistics Office, domestic milk intake has gone down by 3.9%. Compared to March 2014’s domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers, an estimated 470.7 million litres was consumed compared to the March 2015 figure of 452.4 million litres.

However, Irish consumers are using more milk in their homes and comparing the March 2015 milk produce figures with those for March 2014 it shows that the total milk sold for human consumption increased by 2.4% to 45.1 million litres. Butter production also increased and was up 0.6% to 14,500 tonnes from 12,100 tonnes in March 2014.

A census is done to calculate monthly milk and milk product use. Creameries and pasteurisers are enquired from to gather these figures. Whole milk is purchased by creameries and pasteurisers from domestic producers through collection depots, separating stations, and from herds. Whole milk is full fat milk and would usually consist of 3.5% fat. This would be the closest to the real thing, as it is when it comes from the cow.

Skimmed milk has less than or equal to 0.3% fat content. Semi-skimmed milk has a fat content of 1.5% and 1.8% and skimmed milk powder has a 1.5% milk fat content. Ireland also imports raw milk imports and imported milk for processing on contract.

The census also shows that whole milk sales have increased from March 2014’s 25.4% to 26.3% in March 2015, a difference of 0.9% in consumption. In oversight it would appear that dairy production is still on the increase every year and according to Food Harvest, a projection to increase milk production by 50% was reported in their 2020 report. According to an Agri Aware report for second level students, ‘With the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015, Ireland will be able to produce up to 50% more milk. IDB plans to use that milk to bring its product range to new markets and new customers all over the world’.

The Irish dairy industry is an industry that has earned for itself a growing reputation because of high quality and nutritious dairy products. This can be put down to sustainable grass-based production systems. It has been estimated that cows graze for 300 days a year on lush green grass in Ireland and are therefore always able for dairy production. Ireland has more than 17,000 dairy farms and produces 5 billion litres of milk per year and exports dairy products to many countries across the globe.

One of the most successful names to have earned export status is ‘Kerrygold’, established in 1962. In 1973 Kerrygold was introduced to the German population and is still considered by many to be Germany’s number one butter brand, with almost 200 million packs of butter sold each year. Kerrygold is also sold in America, the Democratic republic of Gongo and Russia.

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