A Co Cavan dairy co-op has said its suppliers on this side of the border are confident about their future in the sector.
According to a survey by Lakeland Dairies, 95% have said they will stay in production and 50% said they would also expand their milk production.
Farmer-owned Lakeland collects around 600 million litres of milk annually from around 700 family farms. Along with Aurivo, Dale Farm and Glanbia, it's in the running to form a partnership or joint venture with rival LacPatrick.
Lakeland processes milk into 24 'value-added' dairy foodservice products and food ingredients and exports to 80 countries
The co-op's major global logistics centre and foodservice manufacturing site is in Newtownards, with butter and powder facilities also located at Banbridge in Co Down.
Two years ago Lakeland acquired the milk pool of Northern Ireland agri-food company Fane Valley, including its Banbridge operation.