Mar 202015
 

Following the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, that the latest superlevy figure for the end of February stands at 5.07% representing a potential fine of €80m, Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, said that feedback from his members based on their February milk statements indicated a further increase deriving from current optimum weather conditions and the increased number of milking cows on the ground, Ireland could potentially be facing a superlevy fine of around €100m come the first of April which he described as a huge and massive drain of funds from rural Ireland at a time when it is facing major challenges including the fact that at dairy farm level current milk price is 9 CpL below March 2014 levels – a massive 30% reduction – with the consequent impact on dairy farm incomes and ‘knock-on’ effect in rural spending.  It was essential,  he argued, that every effort is made by the sector to minimise this fine and processors should encourage all farmers to limit or ‘hold back’ supplies where possible up to 1 April as well as ensuring that all milk is collected as early as possible on 1 April  – particularly for those farmers who are themselves under quota but are willing to retain some milk until 1 April rather than supply it on 31 March so as to assist the wider dairy sector.

“This is a very significant gesture being made by these farmers who, despite being under quota themselves, have taken the decision to retain some of their supply at the end of the quota era until 1 April and we’d like this practical support to be recognised and facilitated by all processors including ensuring that farmers making this effort are not inconvenienced in terms of milk collection. In addition, the fight must go on at national and EU level to address this ridiculous situation where a potential €100m will be taken out of the rural economy.  Concerns are being expressed on a practically basis about the state of rural Ireland and the need to divert additional governmental resources to address the problems of rural Ireland while, at the same time, the EU is preparing to drain what could be €100m from the rural economy this Spring on foot of a system that operates up to midnight on 31 March and is consigned to history five minutes later. It is a frankly ridiculous scenario and, while quotas will be abolished, the fight to remove or mitigate this fine must go on”, concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends       20  March 2015.

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

Deputy President, ICMSA.

Or

Cathal MacCarthy,  087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office