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Written Answers. - Milk Quota.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 96. Mr. Perry Information on John Perry Zoom on John Perry  asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food Information on Joe Walsh Zoom on Joe Walsh  if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) in County Sligo has been unsuccessful each year in the allocation of milk quota; if additional quota will be granted in view of the fact that this person is a committed farmer and has invested heavily in their farm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26863/02]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): Information on Joe Walsh Zoom on Joe Walsh The allocation of milk quota from the national reserve is granted on the basis of recommendations from the milk quota appeals tribunal. The tribunal is a body established to consider applications for additional quota from individual producers who have suffered severe hardship in the context of the milk quota system.

The person in question submitted an application to the tribunal and it was examined on 8 October 2002. Unfortunately, the tribunal was unable to recommend an allocation in this case. While every application is treated in a fair and sympathetic manner, the amount of quota available for allocation is limited in the context of the [1521]large numbers of applications that are submitted and therefore the tribunal is not always in a position to recommend the allocation of quota to an applicant.

The tribunal gives priority to the following categories of producers: small scale producers whose entitlement to purchase quota under recent milk quota restructuring schemes was limited because of animal disease or personal illness or where insufficient quota was available in the applicant's co-operative/dairy; younger dairy farmers with small milk quotas; producers whose butterfat representative levels are very low; and producers who are in financial difficulty.

In assessing these applications, the tribunal takes account of the following factors: current quota size; off-farm income and-or other farm enterprises; size of holding; family circumstances, including succession; commitment to dairying; and previous allocations from the national reserve.

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