EU dairy farmers to get financial aid early
Dairy farmers may receive EU subsidies earlier than planned, following a protest outside the European Commission last month
12 June 2009
The European commissioner for Agriculture has reportedly indicated that the EU will be able to provide subsidy payments in advance for dairy farmers hit by drastic price drops throughout the bloc. Reuters reported that Mariann Fischer Boel suggested that it will be possible for the EU to offer financial assistance, following a stand up meeting with protesting dairy farmers outside the European Commission in Brussels last month.
Fischer Boel later told a news conference that she appreciated the “unprecedentedly difficult situation” now that prices have dropped as low as 20c a litre. She said that she plans to enable farmers to receive subsidy payments earlier than planned; to make it possible for member states to pay 70% of the direct payment from 16 October.
Members of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) were among the 800 farmers that travelled to Brussels to protest outside the European Commission. Since the collapse of milk prices throughout the bloc it has come under pressure to reverse its recent dairy liberalisation reforms, which were drawn up between the European Commission and Farm Council.