Mar 062015

With the vote at EU level this Wednesday (11th March) that will confirm that EU milk producers who will be hit with a superlevy fine for 2014/15 milk quota year will be allowed to pay the fine over a maximum of three years, with zero interest, milk processors should immediately inform all their suppliers of this option and pay back superlevy fines that have already been deducted where a farmers opts for the three year payment concession, according to Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee.

The concession which ICMSA understands will provide considerable flexibilities at Member State level is certainly welcome and will be an option that will be taken up by some suppliers while others may opt to simply pay the fine upfront depending on their circumstances and the size of the fine.   Already some dairy farmers have paid a substantial part of their fine to their milk processors through reductions from their milk payment and this new concession from Europe could alleviate serious cash flow pressures on some farmers.   For this to happen, milk processors need to immediately inform their suppliers of the details of this scheme and where a farmer decides to take this option, two thirds of the fine already held back by the Co-op should be repaid immediately to the farmers in question and this fine will then be deducted during 2016 and 2017.

While the concession announced by the Commissioner is certainly welcome, the fine still has to be paid and ICMSA will continue to lobby for further concessions including a butterfat adjustment to alleviate the pressures on farmers at a time of very high investment requirements on farms, concluded Mr. McCormack.

ENDS.        06 March 2015

Pat McCormack is at (087) 7608958.