IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has welcomed the announcement that, as stipulated by IFA, the 3-year superlevy repayment scheme would not exclude farmers with smaller superlevy bills, and would allow farmers to move to a new milk purchaser without the full bill becoming immediately due, provided a new agreement under this scheme is established with the Department and the new milk purchaser.
“It is regrettable that the long delay in setting up the scheme, announced over two months ago by EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, means it will not come in time for the May milk cheque. However, co-ops can help with this, and it is important that they would suspend superlevy collections until their suppliers have decided whether or not to use the scheme, especially when 1/3 or more of their superlevy liability has already been collected,” Mr O’Leary said.
“I want to stress that, at IFA’s request, the scheme will be available to farmers who decide to move to a new milk purchaser, provided they enter into a new agreement under this scheme with the Department and the said new purchaser. This means that there can be no justification for a co-op to seek to use the scheme to sway a farmer’s decision to leave or stay with them,” he said.
Mr O’Leary urged the Department to make the required documentation available to the farmers who wish to use the scheme urgently, to facilitate orderly decision making by co-ops and farmers with regards to levy collection this year and the next two years.