The ICMSA President has described the Government’s declared policy on the dairy crisis as “lamentable and effectively non-existent” and has called for an immediate focus on the present depressed farmer milk price which he says is resulting in a “haemorrhaging” of money out of rural districts.
Mr. John Comer said that dairy farmers would be stunned to see the present milk price disaster that has resulted in a loss of farmer income of in excess of €600 million and a loss to the rural economy of well in excess of €1 billion dismissed in the Programme for Government in just six-odd sentences of platitudes and vague aspirations. Mr Comer said that when the gravity of the situation demanded real response and real proposals that would put a floor under milk prices that were now approaching a full year since they had first fallen below the costs of production, it was depressing and shocking beyond belief to see that the new Government seemed to not have a single coherent policy that farmers could look to for relief from this unprecedented price collapse.
Mr. Comer said that citing items like TAMS and knowledge transfer schemes was practically irrelevant besides the reality that farmers were now facing the real prospects of having zero income for 2016 as months and months of loss-making accumulate and destroy business plans and confidence. He said that Minister Creed was entitled to all our best wishes in his endeavours and a period of grace while he looked at the situation, but the ICMSA President said that the lamentable – effectively non-existent – policies set out in the Programme for Government did not augur well and indicated a Government still unwilling or unable to get to grips with the implications and reasons behind the complete income wipe-out being suffered by our dairy farmers.
Ends 16 May 2016
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office