Dutch/Irish supplies disrupted by FMD The confirmed outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in both Ireland and the Netherlands last week have created major difficulties in maintaining supplies of milk and dairy products to local retailers and overseas customers. Both the Dutch and Irish dairy industries export more than they sell on their domestic markets and any disruption of these exports can cause huge problems. The immediate reaction of the Dutch authorities was to ban all movements of milk off farms and this left dairies denuded of milk for processing, other than small quantities they were able to import from Germany and other neighbouring countries. Exports from both countries came to an immediate halt, leaving many outlets in the UK and elsewhere with a shortfall of supplies. In the UK, the major dairy imports caught up by the ban were cheese and butter and smaller quantities of fresh products. The immediate hiatus is hopefully proving temporary and will depend on how quickly the industries and the official authorities can set up the necessary checking of processing methods and the subsequent certification of exports, in line with EU regulations that the UK industry is now living with. UK exports complying with the disease regulations are now flowing reasonably smoothly to other EU countries. However some difficulties remain with a number of markets outside the European Union. {{M/E CANNED GOODS }}