The Deputy President of ICMSA, Mr Pat McCormack, has said that he expects the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to raise the issue of a butterfat adjustment to the current milk quota regulations at the Agricultural Council meeting which will take place in Brussels today and tomorrow.

Mr McCormack observed that the likelihood of Minister Coveney getting any concerted and positive response from his EU ministerial colleagues is hard to see at this time. He also said that there remained the distinct possibility of other Member States seeking a restriction  on the volumes of milk produced across the union post-2015 as part of a ‘trade-off’ on a butterfat  adjustment, according to Mr McCormack.

“We spoke to Minister Coveney directly and very recently on this matter and he’s very well aware of our views that an adjustment is required and we’ll continue to make the case at every opportunity and in every forum. In practical terms, it may well be Q3 or even Q4 of this year before we see any movement on this issue”, said the ICMSA Deputy President, who also chairs the association’s Dairy Committee.

“The really important point to grasp is that Irish milk production is almost certain to break through its quota allocation for 2014/15: cows are milking tremendously well at the moment, and the probability is that we’re going to exceed the volume of milk produced in 2013/14 and that’s why it’s so important for Minister Coveney to secure that breakthrough on the butterfat adjustment over the coming months,” concluded Mr McCormack.