With all the signs now indicating that Ireland will incur a superlevy fine, Pat McCormack, Deputy President & Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, has called on the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and dairy processors to speed up the processing of the final data and make the fleximilk allocations to farmers as soon as possible.
“Many farmers have not seen a milk cheque since last Autumn with the consequent impact on cashflow. We think it’s essential that farmers get their fleximilk allocations as soon as possible to release whatever payments will be available.
“For those farmers who will have to pay a superlevy fine, it is essential that their processors - and most importantly, their banks - work with these farmers in a co-operative and positive fashion through the period affected by cash flow difficulties.”
Mr McCormack added that these farmers have ‘perfectly viable businesses’ and assistance must be forthcoming to deal with the short-term cash flow difficulties that will almost inevitably arise from a superlevy fine.
“In the context of the events of the last few years, we have every right to demand that the banks approach this matter with as much sensitivity and common sense as is necessary. Quite aside from that obligation, it makes much more sense for the banks to remember the underlying commercial health of these farms and to do everything possible to assist the farmers concerned through the period where the fine will cause difficulties.
“We need all parties to some foresight here and some degree of planning because while we realise that making predictions is a dangerous business, we see the growing cow numbers in the national herd, and even after factoring-in weather and milk price major uncertainties, the possibility of a superlevy fine in 2012/13 is even higher so dairy farmers need to take this into account when making production decisions in 2012”, concluded Mr. McCormack.