With less than a week to go to the end of milk quotas, and end of February supplies 5.07% over quota, IFA President Eddie Downey has urged co-ops to work closely with suppliers to manage the last few days of milk collection in March and the first few days of April.
He said that, without further progress in pulling back deliveries, and with the same percentage surplus at end March as at end February, the 2014/15 bill could add up nationally to over €80m. He said hard work by co-ops in supporting farmers over the next number of days was essential to help reduce exposure to the last ever superlevy fine.
“In our recent series of top level meetings with all co-ops, we have emphasised this point very strongly. Co-ops must manage to the greatest possible degree the logistics and timings of milk collection routes strategically over the coming days to help reduce superlevy exposure both for the co-op as a whole, and for individual farmers,” Mr Downey said.
“It is also crucial that co-ops would communicate clearly to farmers the limits to the safe storage of milk,” he added.
“Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must outline urgently the detailed implementation provisions for the payment scheme recently agreed by the EU Commission, which is to give farmers access to an interest-free, 3-year payment term for their superlevy fine. This is essential to ensure that co-ops can urgently take early stock of their superlevy collection situation, with a view to ensuring that all dairy farmers have fair and equitable access to this new, interest-free, 3-year payment term,” he concluded.