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Minister Smith announces payments under Dairy Compensation Fund

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that payments under the Dairy Compensation Fund commenced today. "I am very pleased that these payments, worth €11.5 million in total, are issuing so speedily, particularly given the difficulties experienced by dairy farmers over the past year" the Minister said.  "While Member States are to make the payments by the end of June 2010, I was determined that they should issue as soon as possible" he added.

This fund is part of a package of measures agreed at the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers to support dairy farmers across the EU who were severely affected by the fall in milk prices.

Having consulted with the various stakeholders in the dairy sector, Minister Smith said he had decided to allocate the money on a flat rate basis. "This enabled my Department to make the payments at the earliest possible time without the need for farmers to submit applications for payment".

Each Member State's share of the EU funds was established using their milk production in the 2008/2009 year, and on this basis, Ireland received €11.5 million.  The rate payable is €590 to each dairy farmer, who produced milk during the 2008/2009 milk quota year.

Date Released: 15 March 2010