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Coveney Issues Reminder on Milk Quotas Situation

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that total volume of milk supplies up to the end of October 2013, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leave Ireland 0.9% over quota at end of October.  This compares to 2.8% under quota this time last year and is up from 0.42% over quota at end of last month.

Given the significant increase in production in recent months, there is a strong likelihood that Ireland will exceed its quota and consequently incur a super levy fine for this milk quota year,  unless milk producers take corrective action for the second half of the year. While the figures are not unexpected, given the very favourable milk production conditions that prevailed throughout the summer and early autumn, the Minister is anxious to remind farmers that "while we avoided a superlevy last year, largely due to the challenging weather conditions, the country did finish the 2011/12 milk quota year at 1.05% over quota and this cost the farmers who were responsible for this over supply some €16 million in super levy payments.  The surge in milk production over the recent months is a reminder of the risk that the country could incur another milk super levy at the end of the current quota year and this could have very serious financial consequences for affected farmers".  

Minister Coveney has therefore stressed that against this background it remains critically important that individual milk producers continue to manage their enterprises having regard to the quota situation until the expiry of the milk quota regime on the 31st of March 2015. Milk producers should also note that the final 0.75% quota increase was applied on the 1st of April 2013 and that no further quota increases are planned for the final year of the quota regime. 

Minister Coveney said while he now accepted the policy of the Government and the sector was to expand in the period post 2015, the EU quota rules must be applied fully up to the expiry date.

 He also reminds suppliers that they should only sell their milk through their usual purchaser in compliance with the Milk Quota Regulations and to sell through any other channels is an offence.

Date Released: 15 November 2013