Levy delay for farmers

MANY DAIRY farmers are still waiting to hear whether they will incur a superlevy for the 2002/03 milk year.

Some milk buyers have yet to receive confirmation of their quota position from the RPA, leaving many producers in limbo.

“Some people will be waiting on tenterhooks to find out what their position is,” said Tom Hind, chief dairy advisor for the NFU. “It‘s been a very uncertain time.”

Wholesale producers incurred a £5.8m levy – equivalent to about £320 a farm – as they exceeded the national quota by 24m litres.

But most producers did not fill their quota, leaving a minority of farmers with some steep bills to pay.
David Young of Wyke Farms had expected two or three suppliers to incur a levy, but said the reallocation of quota, from the national reserve and purchasers with excess quota, had wiped this out.

“I have got some very happy farmers because although we were very close to quota Wyke Farms will not be getting a levy bill.”

The 39m-litre reallocation had also substantially reduced Arla Food‘s liability, although finance manager Jeff Hydari refused to comment further until the company‘s suppliers had been informed.

First Milk received a bill for about £125,000 split across nine members while Dairy Farmers of Britain and Milk Link said they would be informing members of their position over the next few days.

Robert Wiseman Dairies avoided a superlevy, but Dairy Crest said 75 of its suppliers would be charged.

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