UFU welcomes draft EU report on prospects for the Dairy Sector

Tuesday, 3 March, 2015

Ulster Farmers’ Union Dairy Chairman Jonathan Moore has welcomed a draft report by Jim Nicolson MEP on the prospects for the European dairy sector which covers a number of key areas such as the potential challenges and opportunities facing the dairy sector post-quota; the Milk Package and CAP measures; the potential for the EU dairy sector on the world market; future promotion and quality schemes; unfair trading practices in the dairy supply chain; and managing risk in the dairy sector. 

Jonathan Moore said; “One of the key recommendations contained in the report is that the European Commission implement more responsive and realistic safety net provisions, and in particular for the intervention price to be more reflective of production costs and adapted as and when the market changes, something that the UFU have been pressing for over the past year.  We have been calling for a formula to be introduced so that a percentage of the Intervention Price is linked to the EU average cost of production.  This in effect would lessen the impact of negative price volatility if commodity markets drop again to an unsustainable level and would see farmers receiving a price that could reflect the actual cost of production. 

“The report also puts forward that the European Commission should take the necessary action to ensure that the EU Milk Market Observatory (MMO) meets its full potential. The UFU strongly believes that the MMO could go a long way as a monitoring tool to enhancing the decision making process at both a European and local level and we have been speaking to Dairy CO to ensure that future Member State input includes market prices and trends not only for the UK but also for Northern Ireland.”

Jonathan concluded; “My colleagues and I are also due to meet Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice MP in London today and we will once again be calling for UK support on a review of intervention price levels.”