Simon Coveney has declared the terminus of the EU's milk quota, which will come in March 2015, as a massive boon for the Irish dairy industry. It has been in place since 1984.
The Minister for Agriculture was speaking to over 400 farmers and dairy industry figures as he opened the National Dairy Conference in Dublin yesterday:
"As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important and exciting development for rural Ireland that we’ve seen in a generation", he said.
"We are effectively moving from producing 5.5 billion litres of milk a year to over 8 billion litres of milk [per year] in the space of five years . . . [with] about 300,000 extra milking cows on family farms across the country."