No-deal Brexit impact on NI dairy sparks environmental woes


Under a no-deal or unless provisions are included in a deal, customs and tariff arrangements would lead to the scrappage of vast quantities of NI dairy products, trade bodies agree.

This would make the trading of vast quantities of dairy products destined for international markets unfeasible, according to Dairy UK, leading to a glut of these products in the UK and considerable waste. That, in turn, would have enormous environmental effects, Shore Capital head of research Clive Black told Food Manufacture.

“After all, you can’t throw milk down drains, as it is a major contaminant. Cows don’t stop producing milk because of a political crisis. Throwing hundreds of thousands of litres of milk away is just not feasible. Therefore, you are looking at the prospect of thousands of cows being culled.”

Black said the collapse of the region’s farming sector remained a “very real possibility​” in the wake of the proposed changes.

There is currently a very clear realisation that it would create such a crisis and that special measures would have to be considered by the UK Government, if we were to prevent the collapse of the region’s farming sector.​”

‘Change the economics’

If tariffs are imposed, never mind just checks, on vehicles carrying hundreds of millions of litres of milk to and from Northern Ireland, it would fundamentally change the economics of dairy farming.​”

There remained potential for other regions to step into the void, however, although concerns existed around soaring costs as other manufacturers would scramble to increase tanking facilities and capacity.

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