Fianna Fáil Agri spokespersons Jackie Cahill and Charlie McConalogue have requested that Minister Creed urgently attend the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to outline his backing for the removal of EU price supports to dairy farmers.
Spokesperson on Horticulture and Food, Jackie Cahill TD said: “My party colleagues and I are very concerned that the government have given a blank cheque to the European Commission’s proposal to effectively remove the floor price for skimmed milk powder (SMP).
“This move is contrary to existing EU policy. Since the CAP reforms under Agenda 2000, intervention has served to act as an effective floor price and eliminate the more extreme negative price fluctuations. This safety net has given certainty to dairy farmers and removing it for any period of time is playing with fire.
“We have therefore written to the Chair of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine requesting Minister Creed urgently appear before members to explain his support for reducing the quota for intervention from 109,000 tonnes to zero.
Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Charlie McConalogue added: “While there is a large volume in intervention currently overhanging the market, our government has given a carte blanche to this Commission proposal to do away with this price support safety net.
“We have a number of questions on the degree of analysis and consultation with dairy stakeholders that went into this policy decision.
“The Government should be engaging with the Commission and other Member States around a long term plan to reduce the current volume of SMP in intervention.
“This includes examining the current rules and policy options about selling out of intervention e.g. selling to third countries.
“I expect the Minister to make himself available to the Oireachtas Committee members to answer for his decision on this matter,” concluded McConologue.