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Coughlan announces changes to Milk Quota Temporary Leasing Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced the details of the 2006/2007 Temporary Leasing Scheme. The details include important changes to both the timing of the scheme and the arrangements for "lost leases". These changes are designed to smooth the transition to the new quota arrangements due to come into place in Spring 2007.

In view of the expected increase in the amount of quota that will be available for temporary leasing in the 2006/2007 year, the Minister said she has decided to bring forward the closing date for the first stage of the scheme to 30 June 2006. A price of 3.5 cent per litre will apply. The Minister explained that this change of date will facilitate the earlier release and reallocation of quota and this will allow those who benefit to make most efficient use of the additional quota. The second stage of the scheme, which will take place in January 2007, when the price will be 2.5 cent per litre.

The Minister said that a feature of the scheme this year will be the provision it makes for producers who had leases which expired on 31 March 2006. Where the leases have not been renewed, or the quota purchased from the lessor, such producers will have access to up to 80% of the previously leased quota from the scheme. Those who lost leases on 31 March 2005 will also qualify.

The other allocation priorities and categories in the scheme are broadly similar to those applying to the 2006 Restructuring Scheme and recent Temporary Leasing Schemes. The changes take account of the consultation process which has been taking place on the new quota regime.

10 May, 2006

Date Released: 10 May 2006