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Coughlan Announces 2% Increase In Ireland's Milk Quota From Next Month

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced an increase of 2% in Ireland's milk quota from 1 April next, following agreement reached at the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting in Brussels. She said that this move by Council was very welcome and reflected the optimistic assessment of the future demand for milk.

"Ireland has the capacity to produce additional milk and this increase in our quotas, amounting to 108 million litres, is very useful at this stage. It is imperative that we give our milk sector the freedom to respond to increased demand" she said.

Turning to the future of milk quotas Minister Coughlan said this will be the subject of important discussions in the coming months in the context of the CAP Health Check. She repeated her call to the Commission to ensure that actions are taken within the Health Check to provide a smooth transition to a situation post 2014 when quotas no longer play a part in market supports.

"It is important to ensure a genuine 'soft landing' in all Member States when quotas are phased out in 2014 and I want to ensure that Irish producers do not miss the opportunity to respond to the demands of the marketplace in an effective way" Minister Coughlan said.

Date Released: 19 March 2008