DAERA Minister supports the ‘Milk Your Moments’ campaign

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has given his support to a UK-wide campaign that aims to encourage people to drink milk.

The £1 million dairy industry marketing campaign ‘Milk Your Moments’ aims to drive consumption of milk and other dairy products, by inspiring people to use milk for moments of connection as people stay apart due to coronavirus.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have fought hard to secure financial support for the Northern Irish agri-food sector.

Covid-19 has been very challenging for our agriculture sector, and in particular, our dedicated and hardworking dairy farmers.

“I am, therefore, very pleased that this week, I have been able to secure funding for the dairy sector as part of the £25 million received from our Executive. This will go some way to helping the sector be more sustainable in the longer term.

“I am very proud to support the Milk your Moments initiative and my department has contributed £20,000 to ensure that Northern Ireland’s dairy sector is also promoted.

“It is a very welcome campaign to help our dairy sector and enrich lives through online connections with those close friends and relatives who we haven’t been able to physically meet up or visit in the last couple of months.

A warm cup of tea at a distance, or a shared latte on a video call, help us to connect with our loved ones and enjoy those quieter moments together.

‘Vital to support our food producers’

Minister Poots also said it was vital food producers who have adapted their businesses are supported after the crisis.

On Friday (May 22), Minister Poots visited Ballylisk Cheese in Co. Armagh, where he met with Dean Wright (pictured below) to discuss how the company has continued to trade through challenging times.

Image source DAERA

Minister Poots said: “From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic our agri-food sector faced many challenges in continuing to feed us all. Businesses had to quickly adapt to new ways of working to meet the high demand.

At Ballylisk Cheese, I have had the opportunity to see how Dean has managed to continue to trade and produce high-quality cheese from his dairy herd, by employing new methods to ensure a continuation of cash flow for the business and getting their product to customers whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

“Ballylisk represents the many smaller, local food producers across Northern Ireland who have risen to the challenge and kept food on our tables.

“It is therefore vital that after this crisis is over, we continue to support our local agri-food business.

“They were there and continue to be there for us during the height of the pandemic and it is only right that we, as consumers, are there for them as we begin to relax some measures in the move to a new normal. Think local, buy local and support local.”