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Smith Advocates Greater Participation in Milk Production Participation

New Rules for MPP Participation Announced

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, TD, has announced the publication of new Detailed Rules for the Operation of Milk Production Partnerships (MPPs). This follows the recent enactment by the Minister of the new European Communities (Milk Quota) Regulations 2008 (SI 227 of 2008), which assigned responsibility for the maintenance of the MPP register to Teagasc and provided for the making by the Minister of detailed rules governing the operation of MPPs.

The Minister noted at the outset that the removal of operational matters from the milk quota regulations provided greater flexibility to change the criteria affecting participation in MPPs and to make such participation more attractive.

"The review of the legislation on Milk Production Partnerships has been informed on my part by a desire to remove obstacles to partnership formation in general, and to encourage new entrants to milk production in particular. I am delighted that the farming organisations have generally shared this desire. The new rules therefore facilitate the participation of non-dairy farmers and farm managers in MPPs. They also remove criteria such as age and some off-farm income limits, and limits on the distance between holdings and the relative sizes of holdings, which previously acted merely as barriers to participation".

The Minister pointed out that the opening up of MPPs to new participants had to be accompanied by reasonable access to quota through the Milk Quota Trading Scheme. He confirmed that, while he would address this issue in more detail when announcing the rules for the next phase of the Milk Quota Trading Scheme next week, the principle of individual access to quota would apply for the categories outlined in the MPP detailed rules.

Concluding, the Minister took the opportunity to reiterate the considerable advantages of partnership formation"It is my view that Milk Production Partnerships are good for the individual and good for the industry. Good for the individual because they provide a means to continue in milk production and bring about improvements in lifestyle. Good for the industry because they can help to maximise the number of active producers and create the potential for efficiency gains. An option worth considering in a time of constant change for the dairy industry".

Copy of Detailed Rules for the Operation of Milk Production Partnerships attached (doc 112Kb) 

Date Released: 15 August 2008