first_imgFianna Fáil have held talks with the North’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to propose a bilateral milk quota until 2015 to replace the current inefficient system of EU-wide national quotas.Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Moynihan TD and Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill held productive talks with Minister O’Neill and her officials in Stormont yesterday.Speaking afterwards, Senator Ó Domhnaill said: “Agreement on a bilateral milk quota now looks like a very real possibility.  Minister O’Neill was very receptive to the Fianna Fáil proposals and acknowledged that steps must be taken to put an end to the current inefficient and wasteful situation facing Irish dairy farmers. “Fianna Fáil has been forced to pursue this issue due to the regrettable inaction of the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney. We are in farcical situation at the moment with some countries in the EU well below quota while Irish farmers are being forced to send cows for slaughter because we’re in danger of exceeding our milk quota.“Minister Coveney has failed to raise this matter with our European counterparts so Fianna Fáil has pressed ahead with discussions on a quota agreement with the UK.   The UK is expected to be below quota by as a much as 20% this year. If we could agree to a joint quota, it would ease the pressure on Irish dairy farmers at risk of over-supply.“As a result of our meeting in Stormont, the North’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has agreed to raise the matter with Minister Simon Coveney. In addition to this, I will request that a joint meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee and its counterpart in Stormont takes place to discuss the issue. My colleague Deputy Michael Moynihan and I also plan to travel to London to further negotiations with the British Minister for Agriculture.“One of the cornerstones of Food Harvest 2020 is to double dairy production by the year 2020. If Minister Coveney does not take immediate and decisive action to address the barriers caused by our national quota, he is putting this strategy in jeopardy. “There is no doubt that the national quota system is a real barrier to the growth of the Irish dairy industry. I am hopeful that we have now taken the first step towards resolving this in the medium-term. Irish dairy produce is in demand and we have ample supply. We cannot continue to be blocked from taking advantage of this much needed growth opportunity for farmers and for the agriculture sector.”MILK QUOTA TALKS ‘PRODUCTIVE’ SAYS SENATOR was last modified: September 30th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img