Sep 152015
 

 Commenting on Ireland’s allocation of direct aid to dairy farmers of €13.7m from the EU fund, the President of ICMSA, John Comer said that while any additional payment is welcome, the level of funding to Ireland is miniscule compared to the losses suffered by dairy farmers since the start of this year and in no way reflects the financial stresses on dairy farmers at this time.  “ICMSA estimates that the direct losses suffered by Irish dairy farmers to-date in 2015 amount to €380m, we calculate the funding available from the EU is only 3.6% of the total losses to the end of August and clearly is not adequate. It’s just foolish for EU Agriculture Ministers to believe that the package of measures announced at the September 7 Farm Council are anywhere near sufficient to address the current downturn in milk prices; they may assist the recovery when supply and demand come back into balance but dairy farmers are still left worrying their very survival over the next six to twelve months.  They are operating in a marketplace that is both oversupplied and dominated by a small number of large buyers who are increasing their margins despite the over supplied marketplace. To suggest to farmers that establishing ‘High Level Groups’ or sharing experiences of unfair trading practices will resolve their problems is simply misleading.  Everybody knows the issues in the food supply chain and everyone can see the destructive effects resulting from the absolute dominance of a number of players  – it’s a question of whether the EU has the will and sense of fairness to do something about it.. These  proposals will not resolve the situation and we need to see further measures to support farmers over the next year. In the meantime, the support secured should be paid out to dairy farmers as soon as possible to aid cashflow which is critical on some farms at this stage”, said Mr Comer.

Ends.     15 September 2015.

John Comer, 087-2057846

President, ICMSA.

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office