No Legal Basis For Any of the Dept’s Dairy Quota Models

The IFA President Tim Cullinan said there is no legal basis for any of the dairy quota models put forward by the Department of Agriculture at yesterday’s Dairy Food Vision Group. 

“I want to be very clear: IFA will not accept the imposition of a quota of any kind on any sector,” he said.

“Over the weekend, we had the Minister calling for a ‘war-time effort’ to produce more food. Now he wants to limit production.  It’s a complete contradiction,” he said. 

“What the Department has put forward has no legal basis. IFA will challenge any attempt by the Government to impose a quota on our sector,” he said.

“The previous quota system was an EU-wide regime. Any attempt to impose a quota in Ireland would not be consistent with the principle of the Common EU market,” he said.

These proposals are also completely at odds with public comments by the group chair Prof Gerry Boyle, who said any measures recommended by the group would be voluntary. 

The Minister must now come clean and outline when the Department’s modelling was done and when they arrived at their preferred option of a quota on the volume of milk produced.

IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said farmers joined the Food Vision Dairy Group to participate in a discussion about sustainability and our climate targets. It now appears that the Department already had a pre-determined plan.

“The Department should now provide all the documents they have prepared to the group as a matter of urgency,” he said. 

“IFA is opposed to any crude measures that seek to limit production. Instead, we should be developing and embracing technologies to reduce emissions,” he said.

The IFA Dairy Chairman said the focus of Teagasc and the Dept of Agriculture should be on implementing measures to reduce emissions per unit of output, not on reducing output. 

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