Dairy Council secures over €3m in European funding

NI Dairy Council CEO Dr Mike Johnston, left, pictured with its chairman Mark Blelock
NI Dairy Council CEO Dr Mike Johnston, left, pictured with its chairman Mark Blelock

The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has secured EU ropean funding which will allow it to undertake export support and sustainability programmes with a value of €3,373,000 (£3m) both at home and abroad over the next three years.

Funding for two of the programmes will be to support the promotion of dairy product exports to countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, while a third sum is for a joint programme with the European Milk Forum to promote industry sustainability.

“Just as the current export programme was the first across all agri-food sectors in UK to get funding, these two export programmes were the only UK applications to be approved,” said Dairy Council CEO Mike Johnston.

“That is very gratifying for our producers and processors as it is indicative of European confidence in our success to date.”

Highlighting the success of the current export programme, Dr Johnston said the council had been able to demonstrate export sales of Northern Ireland dairy products of almost £7m as a direct result.

“We are delighted, therefore, to be in a position to continue with this work.

“With projections suggesting that global demand for dairy products will continue to grow, this funding will help to develop the work we have already undertaken and allow us to reach out further to developing markets in Southeast Asia.”

Approval of €1,117, 325 has been given for work in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia and UAE, while €1,953,127 has been allocated to work over three years in seven countries in Southeast Asia.

“Additionally, €303.3k of funding has been approved by the European Milk Forum to fund a three year sustainability programme.