More Short Term Measures Needed For Dairy Industry

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Following the EU's proposals for the dairy sector last week, Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) are calling for more short term measures.
calendar icon 12 October 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Speaking after the Commissioner’s announcement, UFU Deputy President, John Thompson, said: “We welcome this initiative being taken on longer term issues affecting the EU’s dairy industry which mirrors many of those which we identified in our ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ for the Northern Ireland (NI) dairy industry."

However, with EU milk prices still at an unsustainable level, he said that the UFU were disappointed that the announcement does not go further in terms of addressing the very real short-term problems which still exist. Whilst the world dairy markets are firming, some of the recovery in producer milk prices in NI results from supply shortages as well as a strong Euro rate.

"We are concerned that many of the short term measures agreed by the EU Commission to date are purely discretionary at member state level and do not address the wider immediate difficulties,” said Mr Thompson.

He continued by saying that co-ordinated and effective short term action is needed at an EU level due to the global nature of the market. For some time, the UFU has been calling for the Commission to use all available market instruments to support the sector and, while this has been met with a continued commitment to keep intervention open for butter and skimmed milk powder until August 2011, other measures to help stimulate demand, such as using skimmed milk powder for animal feedingstuffs and temporarily re-implementing the EU’s schemes for butter disposal into pastry and ice cream, have not been used. He stressed that more urgent action was needed to avoid more dairy farmers going out of business.

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