Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan has expressed concern about the current pressure on milk prices because of over-supply in the UK combined with the impact of the superlevy and is highlighting the importance of achieving a soft landing in quotas.

Deputy Moynihan commented, “The current one size fits all policy is harming the Irish dairy industry.  The EU should phase out super levy fines so that damage to the dairy sector here can be limited.  We’ve reached a critical stage in the development of the industry ahead of the removal of milk quotas next year.  Dairy farmers across Cork are poised to make gains after the quotas are abolished, however I’m concerned that super levy fines and low prices at this stage have the potential to damage the capacity of the industry to meet the Food Harvest 2020 objectives.

“Some commentators are warning of a collapse in EU milk prices due to the shortage of processing capacity across Europe, which is an issue to be extremely concerned about.  It’s unfair that local farmers would have to deal with lower prices because of increased production on the continent, while at the same being penalised by super levy fines.

“The Minister should push his EU colleagues on the issue and ensure Ireland receives a derogation on super levy fines in recognition of the impending abolition of quotas from April 2015. A reprieve from super levy fines should ease pressure on dairy farmers and give them space to expand in preparation for post quota regime growth”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.