As a result of lower milk prices, Irish dairy farmers have already lost €220m and for the full year of 2015, this loss will be well in excess of €500m according to Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee.
This massive reduction in revenues will not only be felt at farm level but in every business that is dependent on rural Ireland for its business and measures need to be taken immediately to stabilise the milk price situation and provide a level of confidence to farmers to continue to invest in their business. The clear message coming from farmers who are also faced with the burden of superlevy fines and expansion related debt is that despite increasing their level of production, they are now producing more milk for less money than they received this time last year and they want to see immediate measures introduced that will stabilise the market situation and ensure that there are no further reductions in milk price.
The solution is clear, the EU must immediately increase the intervention price to 28 cents per litre and send a clear signal to the market that it will not accept a situation where EU farmers have to produce milk below the cost of production. The purchasers of dairy products can pay more as seen in 2014 and the EU must intervene to stop the current downward movement in dairy product prices. While the current reduction in milk prices is having a direct impact on the dairy farmers in question, the losses being suffered will inevitably impact on the wider rural economy and indeed, said Mr. McCormack, reports are already coming of farmers who have cancelled planned investments on their farms given the current uncertainty.
The EU Commission has the power and the tools to remove this uncertainty and our Government along with other Member States need to immediately ensure that these tools are utilised to stabilise the market, concluded Mr. McCormack.
Ends 28 July 2015
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Deputy President ICMSA