UFU questions call for increased soft landing in dairy industry

European farming organisation Copa-Cogeca has called on the European Commission to alleviate pressure on milk producers during the last year of milk quotas.

The organisation also said that money from the milk super levy should be kept in the sector to help it develop further. It calls for a discussion on how to deal with the potential increase in price volatility when milk quotas expire in 2015.

However, the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) has expressed reservations about the move by Copa-Cogeca. UFU Dairy Policy Chairman Jonathon Moore said after the soft landing was introduced by the EU back in the 2008 CAP Health Check, which amounted to a 2% increase in milk quota, the UFU have been vocal with its concerns about any additional softening of the rules.

“We understand that these concerns have been shared by both DARD and DEFRA and to date the EU Commission and Council have opposed any further softening. On the proposals for further changes to how the butter fat coefficient is calculated this year, the UFU are concerned that this could disrupt local milk markets and create an unfair advantage to our competitors in other Member States. In addition, the UFU has further reservations in relation to the added cost and bureaucracy which any changes would entail.”