Fianna Fáil proposes bilateral milk-quota with the UK

FF delegation holds productive talks with Agriculture Minister in Stormont

 

Fianna Fáil have held talks with the North’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to propose a bilateral milk quota to replace the current inefficient system of EU-wide national quotas until 2015, when it is expected there will be ending of milk quotas.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Moynihan TD and Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill held productive talks with Minister O’Neill and her officials in Stormont last Thursday, 29 September 2011.

Speaking afterwards Deputy Moynihan said: “Minister O’Neill was very receptive to the Fianna Fáil proposals and acknowledged that steps must be taken to put an end to the current inefficient and wasteful situation facing Irish dairy farmers.

“We are in farcical situation at the moment with some countries in the EU well below quota while Irish farmers are being forced to send cows for slaughter because we’re in danger of exceeding our milk quota.

“We will continue to raise this matter with our European counterparts at every opportunity possible. The UK is expected to be below quota by as a much as 20% this year. If we could agree to a joint quota, it would ease the pressure on Irish dairy farmers who are at risk of over-supply,” concluded Deputy Moynihan.

As a result of the Fianna Fáil meeting in Stormont, the North’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has agreed to look into the issue. In addition to this Fianna Fáil will request that a joint meeting takes place between the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee and its counterpart in Stormont. Deputy Moynihan and Senator  Ó Domhnaill also plan to travel to London to further negotiations with the British Minister for Agriculture.

Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill commented, “One of the cornerstones of Food Harvest 2020 is to double dairy production by the year 2020. If immediate and decisive action is not taken to address the barriers caused by our national quota, this strategy will be put in jeopardy.”

He added, “There is no doubt that the national quota system is a real barrier to the growth of the Irish dairy industry. We have now taken the first step towards investigating a resolution to this. Irish dairy produce is in demand and we have ample supply. We cannot continue to be blocked from taking advantage of this much needed growth opportunity for farmers and for the agriculture sector.”

Posted: Oct 3, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized