Minister Announces Third Milk Quota Increase

IRELAND - The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, has announced his plans for the allocation of the third annual increase of one per cent in milk quotas agreed under the so-called 'health check' of the CAP reform, which is due to come into effect from 1 April 2011.
calendar icon 1 February 2011
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The Minister said: "It is important to continue to maximise quota availability to all milk producers, whose efforts to develop their businesses should be continuously acknowledged. I have also considered very carefully the impact of the first two quota increases, and I have taken on board the very positive feedback from the farming organisations and from ICOS on the implementation of the New Entrants Schemes in 2009 and 2010. Lastly, I must bear in mind the urgent and ongoing need for renewal in the industry and the need to attract new entrants with new and different ideas, new energy and a new determination to succeed in a world market that is increasingly volatile but full of opportunities."

The Minister confirmed that one quarter of the increase will be set aside to support new entrants to milk production. The balance will be allocated as a 0.75 per cent increase in quota on a permanent, saleable basis to every active milk producer. Full details of the 2011 scheme will be finalised and published shortly, but the Minister indicated that he envisages similar arrangements to last year. Potential new entrants will apply to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to participate in the scheme, and will be joined by those who purchased quota through the Milk Quota Trading Scheme, either as new entrants or successors, in respect of any of the last five milk quota years, including 2011/2012. All applicants will be carefully chosen based on their circumstances and their potential viability as dairy farmers. A comprehensive business plan will be required, and all applications will be subjected to a rigorous assessment by the independent group that adjudicated on the 2009 and 2010 Schemes.

Concluding, the Minister said that the approach taken in 2011 was consistent with that in previous years, and struck an appropriate balance between allocating additional quota to active milk producers and facilitating new entrants in order to attract new blood and re-vitalise this critically important sector.

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