Smith calls for greater intervention prices
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food , Brendan Smith TD has called on the European Commission to increase the intervention prices paid to dairy farmers
11 September 2009
Speaking at the Virginia Agricultural Show on 19 August, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Brendan Smith TD announced that he has written to the EU Agriculture Commissioner requesting increased dairy intervention prices and an increase in the scope and level of export refunds.
His petition comes as international dairy prices continue to remain low and the effects are “finding their way back through the milk chain to primary producers.”
Smith said that while export refunds for certain dairy products have been increased, and although “the medium-term outlook is promising,” there is yet little sign of recovery in prices.
He stated: “I will continue to maintain close contact with the EU Commission and the Council to ensure that support measures are activated at levels that will make a real impact in the market.” In addition, he added: “I have called for the development of medium-term strategy to enable the milk sector to manage the transition to a post-quota era and deal with the effects of price volatility.”
The minister said that further options for action on the issues facing the European dairy sector will be discussed at the next Council of Ministers meeting, due to take place shortly. The Council will examine the recent report from the Commission on the dairy market, with a view also to making further preparations for the abolition of quotas in 2015.
He asserted however, that the recent collapse of dairy prices was not due to quota increases in Europe as members prepare for abolition, but on account of reduced demand due to the global recession.