With just one day to go to the end of the 2010/11 quota year, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey today (Wednesday) said he believed it was still possible, with strong co-operation between farmers and co-ops for the next 48 hours, to avoid costly and unnecessary exposure to superlevy for 2010/11. “We have been in this position before, when less than one day’s milk made all the difference,” he said.
Mr Kiersey added that it was now evident to all that, despite some opinions, superlevy remained a restriction on Irish milk production, and needed to be factored in by all milk producers in their business plans until 2015.
He said he was determined to continue lobbying in Brussels with like-minded farm organisations and with the support from our government to obtain greater concessions on quotas before 2015. “It is very obvious that the promised “soft landing” in the transition to quota abolition is not working in Ireland. In fact, the combined cost of quota acquisition and superlevy fines could be undermining our competitiveness,” Mr Kiersey said.
“All member states, including countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and even Germany, need to be able to benefit from the lower quota costs which the so-called “soft landing” was meant to bring about. This is not currently the case in any of these countries, and I am clear that additional measures are needed before 2015 to reduce the cost of quota and/or superlevy for all dairy farmers in Europe, including Irish farmers,” he said.
“However, I expect to encounter a great deal of resistance from the EU Commission and the majority of member states where the “soft landing” is actually working, and fear of oversupply militates against further changes, so it is likely that, even if successful, our campaign will take time,” he added.
“Meanwhile, I hope we will avoid superlevy this year, and learn from the experience by making sure that farmers reduce their exposure to fines over the coming years,” he concluded.