Irish Milk Farmers Protest EU Crisis in Belgium

IRELAND - A delegation from the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), headed by their President, Jackie Cahill, joined last Monday with over 10,000 fellow dairy farmers from all over Europe in a mass crisis protest being held outside the meeting of EU Farm Ministers this morning.
calendar icon 28 May 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Jackie Cahill, ICMSA President, who addressed the gathering of European farmers said that the crisis around the complete collapse in dairy farmer incomes was completely the making of EU Commission and Farm Council and that they alone had responsibility to correct it.

The Irish dairy leader said that nothing short of a complete ‘u- turn’ by the Commission to support prices would save dairy farmers from bankruptcy and the infliction of irreparable damage to Ireland and Europe’s dairy and agri-processing sectors. Mr Cahill described the measures taken by the Commission to date as the equivalent of sticking a plaster on a gaping wound and he pointed out that milk prices continue to remain substantially below the cost of production.

Mr. Cahill said that Minister Smith does not seem to realise the gravity of the situation and still talks about increasing milk quotas when his European colleagues are going the opposite direction. Mr. Cahill estimates that €1 billion reduction in the value of milk output will be suffered by Ireland this year; a loss to farmers, the wider economy and exports. Mr. Cahill said that Minister Smith must realise the depth of crisis facing the dairy sector in Ireland and cease tinkering around the edges of what is fast becoming a catastrophe for a sector that could play a huge role in the economic recovery of the country if it was properly managed.

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