ICMSA say contradictory info from Department and Co-ops is causing superlevy confusion
Given the real dangers of a superlevy fine this year, Mr. Pat McCormack, Chairman of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, said that it is absolutely essential that farmers get up-to-date, accurate and consistent information regarding milk supply relative to quota and he said there is growing concern regarding the inconsistent information coming from the Department, on one hand, and the Co-ops, on the other. According to Mr McCormack, farmers are asking why the Department’s figures are so much lower than the calculations published by the vast majority of Co-ops and they are wondering what could explain the difference is.
“This issue is far too serious a matter for any inconsistencies, and it is not the first time it has happened: we remember the situation at the end of March, earlier this year, when farmers were told that there was no way Ireland would avoid a superlevy but yet the country eventually came in under-quota”, noted the ICMSA Diary Chairman.
“We see similar confusion being caused again this week with farmers being told by the Department that the country is 2.41 percent over quota while the position being reported by most Co-ops is well in excess of that figure. This inconsistency appears to be down to the different methods of calculating the over-quota position and it is quite simply incredibly unfair and worrying for those farmers, who, in some cases, are facing massive fines. While accepting that each individual farmer must examine his or her own position, the Co-ops’ estimates and departmental estimate are influencing factors on farmers and ICMSA believe that the significant differences between the Department and Co-op calculations need to be resolved as a matter of priority”, said Mr McCormack
Mr. McCormack said that the Department and the Co-ops must immediately sit down and agree a standardised methodology for calculating the superlevy position so that farmers are getting up-to-date and consistent figures from both sources in a manner that will permit them to make informed decisions. He noted that a delegation from ICMSA was due to meet the Department today and the matter would be formally raised then.
Ends. 24 October 2011.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Chairman, ICMSA Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office