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Irish Minister Calls for Further EU Action on Dairy Support Measures

15 July 2015

IRELAND - The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has called on the EU Commission to take further action on dairy market support measures.

Mr Coveney was speaking in Brussels where he attended a meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council of Ministers.

He said: “I have asked the Commissioner to give serious consideration to an intervention price increase. There can be no doubt that softening of global dairy markets has had an impact on dairy farmers in Ireland and throughout the EU and the possibilities remain for this to continue.

"In such context, the full range of measures should be under consideration in terms of any possible response. I welcome the decision by the Commissioner, to extend the time-frame for intervention beyond the 30th September 2015 deadline which was something I had been calling for too.

"I have also asked the Commission to look at increasing both the volumes eligible and price paid for intervention to a level that provides a realistic safety net. It's important to use the full range of market measures available and for the Commission to act early and decisively to put a price floor in place where appropriate."

During discussions on developments in other market sectors, Ministers also discussed the pig meat sector.

Mr Coveney added: “The Irish and EU pig meat sector has been particularly badly affected by the Russian ban and I have asked the Commission to monitor market developments and fully assess all potential market support measures available.”

Ministers also discussed the EU School Milk and School fruit scheme, genetically modified organisms, and an initiative on Climate Change introduced by the French Minister for Agriculture.

Speaking on Climate Change the Minister said: “We need to urgently develop a coherent and realistic approach to the twin challenges of climate change and food security.

"Last October the basic principle of a new EU policy on climate and food security was adopted in the Council Conclusions and we now need to turn these principles into practical policies which support the sustainable intensification of food production. This must include encouragement for carbon storage on agricultural land and in forestry."

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