The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food should support the call made by the European Parliament Agricultural Committee to maintain the €300m milk fund as part of the EU Budget considerations for 2011, according to Mr. Pat McCormack, Chairperson of ICMSA's Dairy Committee.
In welcoming the proposal from the Committee, Mr. McCormack said that the year 2009 will live long in the memory of dairy farmers and in the aftermath of that disastrous year it is absolutely essential that the policymakers at EU level maintain the maximum number of support measures for dairy farmers that might allay the worst effects of that kind of destructive volatility. While the milk fund was tiny relative to the losses suffered by dairy farmers in 2009, it is still important that it is maintained.
As of now, Mr McCormack said the dairy policy being pursued by the EU will not address volatility and the proposals from the High Level Group are unlikely to lead to any positive developments for dairy farmers. The Dairy Committee Chairman pointed out that farmers are waiting in anticipation on the legislative proposals for the dairy sector to be announced before Christmas. But he said that, in advance of this, it is essential that every support measure possible was introduced and utilised.
"It is important that the €300m milk is set up and maintained as part of the support measures to deal with volatility and we'd like the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food should support the call for its retention", concluded Mr. McCormack.
Ends September 7 2010.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Chairman, ICMSA Dairy Committee