IFA and ICMSA react differently to milk quota trading scheme results
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) have reacted differently to the latest results from the Irish milk quota trading scheme.
IFA Dairy Committee chairman Richard Kennedy said the scheme had operated well, transferring 87 percent of the entire quota offered into the hands of active milk producers.
But the ICMSA deputy president John O'Leary claimed the outcome was anything but a ringing endorsement.
The fifth milk quota trading scheme is the first of two that will allocate quota in respect of the 2009/2010 quota year.
Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith said the volume traded represents 87 percent of all quota offered for sale.
Demand for quota continues to be very strong, to the extent that demand has outstripped supply by a ratio of 3:1.
A total of just over 37 million litres of milk quota was offered for sale, with 32.3 million litres successfully traded.
Of this total, 23.3 million litres were sold on the exchange at prices ranging from 10 to 40 cents per litre and nine million litres were sold through the priority pool at the maximum price of 10 cents per litre.
Mr Smith said the results emphasised yet again the confidence dairy farmers have in their sector.
However, Mr O'Leary said it was staggering to hear the minister's statement that the results demonstrate the confidence farmers have in their sector, which now has the lowest milk price in 20 years.
O'Leary also said the facts are blunt and frightening, less than 13 percent of farmers applied to purchase quota and less than 10 percent actually did purchase quota.