Quota woes leave co-ops in fine mess
As the EU confirms that there will be no flexibility on milk quotas until at least 2013, the picture for the country's co-ops is rapidly becoming a case of the 'haves' and 'have nots'.
The situation on the ground has improved for some of the smaller dairies in the past month but the two main players, Glanbia and Dairygold, are still running well ahead of quota.
However, efforts by the dairy industry to wrangle concessions from the EU Commission to offset a major superlevy fine appear to have been rebuffed.
A spokesman for the Commission said there were no plans to look again at the butterfat co-efficient or the superlevy fine, which stands at 28.66c/l.
A move on either issue would help offset any national superlevy fine which will exceed €25m given current supply trends.
"The Commission has set a clear path towards the end of quotas in 2015, and there are no plans to adjust those plans," the EU spokesman said.
Commission insiders accept that the milk management measures have been raised by countries other than Ireland in the early stages of the CAP reform negotiations.