IFA Map First Step to Dairy Recovery

IRELAND - Irish Farmers' Association National Dairy Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy said that the announcement today (Thursday) by the EU Commission of export refund increases of €100/t for butter and €20/t for SMP was a good first step to speed up an upturn in dairy markets.
calendar icon 5 June 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

He added that, in the face of the most severe farm income crisis in decades, the EU Commission must be prepared to do more to hasten the recovery of milk prices.

Mr Kennedy said that, by re-activating the animal feed processing aid, widening its scope beyond calf milk replacer, the EU Commission could help stimulate market demand, thereby speeding up market recovery and ensuring that milk prices paid to farmers can soon once again at least cover their costs.

“The increased export refunds will help exporters retain and even improve their competitiveness in the face of the weaker US $. It will help move more product out of the EU, which will speed up the rebalancing of the European dairy market and improve price prospects. However, the EU Commission must be prepared to increase refunds further if markets and exchange rates require it,” Richard Kennedy said.

“In addition to this, there is scope to use all available market instruments more creatively to stimulate demand. A good example is the scheme that aids skimmed milk powder for incorporation into calf milk replacer. I believe the Commission should be creative about widening the scope of this scheme to other animal feed sectors,” he said.

“It is simply unacceptable to wait for time and attrition alone to rebalance dairy markets, bankrupting some of our most efficient and committed dairy farmers in the process. There is a strong political onus on the EU Commission to be proactive and creative in finding ways to alleviate urgently the very severe income crisis being faced by dairy farm families,” he concluded.

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