Commenting on the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine that the official milk quota position at the end of January 2012 was 0.3% under quota, Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, said that while this represents a further improvement from the end of December, the threat of a super levy remains very likely.
Mr McCormack noted that in January 2011 Ireland was 1.41% under quota and effectively ended on quota for the year, he observed that a similar supply pattern for February and March this year will lead to a superlevy fine for farmers. It should also be borne in mind that 0.3% under quota is less than 1,000 litres per supplier so the margin at present in very tight.
“It is critically important that each individual supplier examines his/her own position and consults with their Co-op on an ongoing basis regarding the Co-op’s position. In the context of a super levy fine of 28.65 cents per litre, incurring such a penalty could have a disastrous impact on a farmer so they must take every measure possible to limit their exposure. Milk suppliers must be extremely vigilant” , said Mr McCormack.
Finally, Mr. McCormack said, that the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine should endeavour to release the super levy figures earlier in March given the importance of up-to-minute accurate information for farmers.