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Coughlan reminds Dairy Farmers of closing date for Milk Quota Trading Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today reminded dairy producers intending to apply to the Milk Quota Trading Scheme that the deadline for receipt of applications is next Friday the 24th November 2006. All applicants should ensure that their application forms are fully completed and submitted to the Department by this date. Applications to buy quota must be accompanied by a cheque for the full value of the bid, made payable to the Co-op.

The Minister confirmed that a review would be undertaken after this first Scheme. However, there will be no substantial change to the Priority Pool/Market Exchange structure of the Scheme before the second run in Spring 2007. She pointed out that there would be no change to the requirement that 30% of the total quota offered for sale will be sold into this pool.

The Minister also took the opportunity to respond to complaints from some sellers about the 30% stipulation:

"The argument that some people's freedom to trade is being restricted by the new Trading Scheme is simply untrue. Instead of obtaining a fixed price for all quota sold, as was the case under the Milk Quota Restructuring Scheme, sellers are being paid a maximum price for only 30% of quota offered for sale at the same price of 12 cent per litre as applied in the old scheme. The remaining 70% will attract a price determined by the market, which means that sellers are likely to obtain a better return than would have been the case had I continued with the Restructuring Scheme for a further year."

Concluding, the Minister said that the right balance has been struck - sellers wishing to exit milk production can get a reasonable return, and active and committed milk producers can obtain additional quota at a reasonable cost.

20 November, 2006

Date Released: 20 November 2006