National Milk Agency
The National Milk Agency continues to regulate, on a national basis, the supply of milk for liquid consumption. This Agency is responsible for the registration of suppliers and pasteurisers of drinking milk and of the supply contracts made between them with the purpose of ensuring a reliable year round supply of drinking milk to the consumer.
After 31 years in existence the EU milk quota regime ended on 31 March 2015. From April 2015 onwards there are no milk supply management controls in place in Ireland.
The Food Harvest 2020 Report set a target of increasing milk production from 5bn litres in 2008/2009 to 7.5bn litres in 2020 and the achievement of such expansion is central to the realisation of the growth targets contained in its successor, Food Wise 2025.
This increased production is being achieved by improved genetics and breeding, increased on-farm eﬃciency, and increase knowledge and skill levels among dairy farmers.
The ending of the milk quota regime in March 2015 resulted in the ending of the legal basis for the Teagasc operated Milk Production Partnerships. The Department has established a new Register of Farm Partnerships to take over from the Milk Production Partnership Register. The concept of partnership in Irish agriculture is seen as a means of enhancing eﬃciency, providing better work/life balance; addressing land mobility and smoothing intergenerational succession. Participation on the new register has been broadened to include all of the main agriculture enterprises.
Entry on the new register is a pre condition for access to support schemes aimed at encouraging the development of farm partnerships in Irish agriculture, such as the Support for Collaborative Farming Grant Scheme and the preferential stock relief for registered farm partnerships. The Department also ensures that the members of such registered partnerships are fully catered for in the implementation of the new CAP Reform Schemes such as TAMS, GLAS, ANC and BPS.
Approval and Inspection Service
Milk Hygiene section and Dairy Controls & Certiﬁcation Division implement EU and national legislation to approve and supervise food business operators involved in the production of milk and milk based products. Controls are implemented to verify that legal standards of quality and safety for human consumption are maintained from production at farm level, through to manufacturing and storage.
Dairy Controls & Certiﬁcation Division staﬀ are authorised under the relevant legislation and carry out monitoring and enforcement measures, including inspections, audits and product sampling, to verify compliance with legislation. The control programmes also provide for the certiﬁcation of dairy products for export to Third Country markets.
Dairy Inspection Fee
Under the Milk (Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 1979, a levy is payable on all milk purchased for processing. The levy is intended to cover the cost of the Department’s inspection regime within the dairy sector. The rate of levy is 0.1 cent per litre at time of going to press (December 2015)