asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware that certain milk producers in the Cork area are seeking an increase in the price of milk and if, when reviewing these prices, he will take into consideration the fact that this supply is restricted to certain producers and that a large number of producers are willing to supply the Cork area but are prevented from doing so by the Cork Milk Board, which is controlled by a limited number of producers and distributors.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cork Milk Supplies.
I am aware that certain milk producers in the area of the Cork District Milk Board are seeking an increase in milk prices. The Deputy may take it that when milk prices are being reviewed all the relevant factors will be taken into account. The Deputy is, however, not strictly accurate in ascribing to the Cork District Milk Board the decision of preventing certain producers from selling milk in the Cork area. The area from which the Cork milk supply is at present obtainable is defined in the Milk (Regulation of Supply and Price) Acts, 1936 and 1941 and the Orders made by the Minister for Agriculture under those Acts and the Cork District Milk Board merely administers those Acts and Orders in so far as they relate to its area.
Is it correct to state that farmers from outside that area have been denied the right to send milk into the city in the summer months when milk is available but that they may do so during the winter months when it suits the farmers and the milk board in the area?
That is correct. The milk board area is already defined.
asked the Minister for Agriculture whether, in view of the threats of some milk producers to reduce the supply of milk unless they receive increased prices, he will increase the number of suppliers in the Cork Milk Board area so as to ensure the supply of milk to Cork City; and whether he will give representation to consumers on the Cork Milk Board.
As regards the first part of the question, suitable measures would be taken if the need arose, to ensure sufficient supplies of milk for the Cork District Milk Board area. The nature of such measures would depend on the particular circumstances of the situation.
As regards the second part of the question, the Milk (Regulation of Supply and Price) Acts, 1936 and 1941, under which the Cork District Milk Board operates, do not provide for consumer representation on the board. Consumers are, of course, at liberty to make representations to the board or to the appropriate Minister and have in fact done so in the past.
Is the Minister aware that such representations have had no effect in regard to the delivery of milk in Cork City and will he consider now the matter of consumer representation on the Cork Milk Board?
Is it the Minister's intention to pasteurise the supply?
I have not received directions from the Cork County Council in that regard. It is a matter for them first.
Is it not correct to say that the Cork County Council do not come into it from the city angle?
That is true.