Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (108)

Gerard Murphy

Question:

107 Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if a person (details supplied) in County Cork can be awarded extra quota under the hardship clause; and if he will make a statement with regard to the qualifying criteria used for gaining extra quota. [6443/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

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. There is no record of the person named having applied to the tribunal in the current 2003-04 quota year. While the deadline for application in respect of the current quota year has passed, an application may be made for the 2004-05 quota year when the application forms become available in the autumn.

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; 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.