The President of ICMSA, John Comer, has said expectations of anything meaningful emerging from next Monday’s critical Farm Council in term of relief for dairy farmers were “low and falling”. Mr. Comer said that based on our published submission Ireland seemed to be going along on the basis of “crossing fingers and hoping for the best but without any clear plan as to how to realign supply-demand in the medium-term and without any intention to call for the rise in intervention price necessary to give some signal to EU milk suppliers that they won’t just be abandoned to a whole year of below-cost production and the bankruptcy that goes with that”.
Mr. Comer repeated his organisation’s conviction that an intervention price rise to 28 cents per litre was the only option that would give stability fast enough to stop the growing panic. He said that while the proposals in the Irish submission had some merit they were not enough – either individually or taken as a whole – to send a signal that the EU was determined to put a floor under milk price. “The EU has two choices here: they either ensure that we get a fair margin from the retail corporations or they, in some sense, make up the difference. They have ‘chickened out’ again from the former course and so they are obliged to take the latter. France openly supports supply-side measures which the Germans have already said they will not consider and Ireland, for our part, just seems content to continue tinkering around the edges in terms of storage volumes without any serious attempt to get to the heart of the matter which is yet another incomes wipe-out for EU dairy farmers – every other link in the dairy chain is making a margin except the group on which the whole multi-billion euro sector rests: the farmers. This cannot go on”, said the ICMSA President.
Ends 10 March 2016.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office