The Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy Committee has urged the new Minister of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to seek a concession from the EU in the form of a deferral of the repayments being currently made by Irish farmers who incurred super levy fines in the period running up to quota abolition. Gerald Quain said that dairy farmers all over the state had been left “reeling” by the reduced size of their April milk cheques and already precarious financial situations were being compounded by the deductions being made for Super Levy fines. He said that 3,741 farmers were repaying €35.6 million and in a context where farm milk price had now been below the cost of production for nearly a full year, it was an extraordinary and punitive measure to continue making the deductions from already very hard pressed milk suppliers.
The ICMSA spokesperson said that it was important to note that farmers were not seeking to have the fines ‘written off’ – though that too was worth consideration. They merely asked for the repayments to be deferred or re-scheduled till their milk price recovered and their present critical financial situation was alleviated. Mr Quain said that it was not a lot to ask of the Commission, particularly given the fact that that body’s inability and unwillingness to regulate fairness into the diary supply-chain was one of the principle reasons why dairy farmers all over the EU are facing income wipe-outs.
Ends 30 May 2016.
Gerald Quain, 086-3623041
Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committtee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office