Ireland represented as dairy farmers face off with police outside EU Council Building
An estimated 15,000 farmers, including an Irish delegation, have taken part in the ‘1000 tractors toBrussels’ demonstration today organised by the European Milk Board. Pepper gas was fired and riot police were hosed with milk as milk suppliers from all over the EU demanded a fair price for their milk and the introduction of an agency at EU level that will regulate and monitor the margins taken at every step in the chain from farm to consumer and which will intervene and support milk price when it falls below the costs of production.
The ICMSA is the Irish constituent of the European Milk Board and its President, John Comer, was present as the farmers faced off with police in what was described as a volatile atmosphere. He said that there was an overwhelming need for a proper oversight and regulation of the margins being taken by the components in the supply chain and a reform of the present system that saw the dairy farmers – on whom the whole gigantic dairy sector rested – getting the smallest margin while huge multinationals controlled the prices to the disadvantage of producers and consumers alike.
“Irish farmers, and farmers right across the EU, are absolutely sick and tired of a system that insists on regulating the farmers down to an almost minute level while certain processors and retailers – some with turnovers the size of small states – seem to escape any level of meaningful oversight completely. It’s utterly wrong and unfair to both consumers and producers alike.
Ends 26 November 2012.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office