IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey said he was writing to co-ops to ask them to spread superlevy fine repayments over the summer months, as they had until 1st September to transfer the levies collected from farmers to the Department of Agriculture.
He said, “A large number of dairy farmers are being faced with superlevy bills, some of which are very sizeable and potentially damaging to their business. We have had reports of some co-ops looking for full payment of the fines much earlier than they need to.”
The liability for the superlevy fine is on the over-quota farmer. EU regulations provide that milk purchasers have to collect the fine and allows until 1<sup>st</sup> September to transfer to the Department of Agriculture the levy they collected from over-quota farmers on the Department’s behalf. The Department must then pay the fine to the EU between mid-October and the end of November.
“In effect, the EU regulatory deadline gives milk purchasers the scope to spread the payment of the fine by instalment over at least 4 milk cheques, without creating any financial pressures for co-ops,” Mr Kiersey said.
“I am writing to co-ops to urge them to work with their over-quota suppliers to help minimise the cash flow stress which the superlevy fine will create for many. Where the bill is large, farmers will need support from their banks to facilitate cash flow over longer periods, and avoid financial situations which could be damaging to their long term profitability.”
“I will also contact banks to be receptive to their over-quota dairy farmer clients and work with them to facilitate superlevy bill payments over the coming months,” he concluded.