Following the announcement from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney that the Government will match the entirety of the €13.7 million direct aid for dairy farmers with national exchequer monies, Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy committee, said that it is a welcome injection of funds into an industry that is suffering substantially due to continued low milk prices and these funds should be paid out to all dairy farmers immediately.
However, Mr. McCormack noted that the total funding is only a drop in the ocean in the context of the losses suffered during 2015 and the potential losses in 2016 and quite clearly, this must not be seen as the solution to the problem and an excuse to forget about the dairy industry, most especially, dairy farmers need European policy to do more to stabilize the milk market while the Irish government need to take further steps to minimize farm income volatility in the long term. The facts are that the estimated loss in revenues in the dairy industry in this calendar year is approximately €580 million so these measures are required to address the escalating losses.
Dairy farmers are facing into a seriously challenging 2016 and ICMSA is concerned regarding the non-interventionist approach being adopted by the Department and Commission and we need to see further proactive involvement in the market in the coming months with further aid packages to alleviate the losses incurred and to stabilise milk prices at a realistic level, concluded Mr. McCormack.
ENDS. 09 December 2015
Pat McCormack is at (087) 7608958.
ICMSA Head Office: (061) 314677.