Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Horticulture and Food, Jackie Cahill TD has said that he is deeply concerned at reports that the 2018 intervention for skimmed milk powder will be via tender rather than the current regulation price of €1690 per tonne.

Deputy Cahill was commenting as reports emanated from the dairy sector that the European Commission is planning on changing the payment structure for dairy farmers.

“While prices have stabilised, and marginally improved in certain areas, the price for skimmed milk powder has not.

“The regulation price put a floor under the market, and ensured that dairy farmers had certainty with price, and could plan accordingly.

“Any moves by the EU Commission to move to a tender model will pull that floor from under dairy farmers, and may see prices plummet.

“I’ve tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Michael Creed TD asking for him to make a statement on this matter.

“I will be asking him to categorically state Ireland’s opposition to such a change in policy, and ensure that the Commission do not proceed with.

“A change of this nature would put Irish dairy farmers under severe pressure. Dairy prices haven’t recovered sufficiently to make up for the major losses incurred over the past five years. Minister Creed must call a halt,” concluded Cahill.