Recent suggestions for the re-introduction of schemes to control dairy volumes have to be knocked on the head, according to the Irish Co-operative Society (ICOS).

In a recent update, it said that it is simply crazy in a country that exports 90% of its dairy product to a global market to even suggest such a measure.

According to ICOS, with dairy markets still in difficulty, knee-jerk reactions are unhelpful and play on fears of co-op members in advance of one of the biggest opportunities for our industry with the abolition of quotas.

ICOS says it led the charge in Brussels when quotas by the back door were sought during the CAP reforms and we were successful in that campaign.

However, it states that it has fully supported the retention and extension of dairy market tools to help the market in times of difficulty and to provide some sort of protection for farmers and their co-operative businesses.

According to ICOS, it pushed for, and got, during the CAP reform the retention of dairy safety nets that were to be deleted or reduced substantially in initial drafts such as PSA and Intervention.

“During this market disturbance we have been very strong on opening a suite of feasible solutions the EU could enact to alleviate pressure on our cooperative dairy business, and their suppliers,” it said.

However it stressed ‘volumetric control’ is very much off the table, and the imposition of same would be a majorly regressive step for our farmer owned co-operative businesses.