Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan has called on the new EU Agriculture Commissioner Designate, Phil Hogan to urgently address milk quotas upon assuming office, as Irish farmers may have to halt production next month due to EU-imposed restrictions.
He commented: “Irish dairy farmers are facing the possibility of stopping the production of milk next month due to EU imposed restrictions. With milk quotas due to be abolished in 2015, it is reasonable to request that a transition period be established to allow a changeover period for farmers.
“For example, North Cork Co-Op is presently 13% over quota and there is a considerable amount of concern over super-levy fines if farmers go over their quota. It is extremely disappointing that the Minister for Agriculture has failed to negotiate an easing of the quota restrictions on Irish farmers. It is not fair to expect farmers to keep to strict quotas this year and then be allowed to produce as much milk as they like next year.
“There is scope for a change in the EU’s milk quotas policy and I am calling on both Simon Coveney and new EU Agriculture Commissioner Designate Phil Hogan to address this issue as a matter of urgency when he assumes office. A change in policy here makes sense and would help dairy farmers successfully transition from milk quotas to their abolition next year.”