IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said it’s really disappointing to see a scheme unduly penalising farmers for producing milk at the most economically favourable time of the year, especially with spiralling input costs.
“Milk produced from grazed grass is our competitive advantage here in Ireland and this must be prioritised at all times.”
This proposed scheme from Lakeland Dairies raises a number of serious questions. First and foremost, why is there a need for this scheme to be launched at a time when milk supply is back in Ireland and globally, with spiralling input costs, this trend looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Stephen Arthur questioned where the funds raised by the four-cent levy on peak supply between April and June would go. “This is farmers’ money and they are entitled to know how it will be used,” he said.
Also of real concern is the impact on new entrants and farmers who have recently undertaken on-farm investment.
This proposed scheme will unduly penalise any farmer who is expanding or anybody planning on entering dairy farming. At a time when the average age of dairy farmers is relatively high, penalising peak production sends a very negative message to any young person thinking of dairy farming.
IFA is seeking further clarity on this scheme and exactly what will happen with any penalties imposed on farmers.