Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has raised concerns about the new agriculture package announced by the European Commission last week. The Sligo based Senator says the supports do almost nothing to address price security for farmers.
Senator Mac Sharry explained, “Some of the measures contained in the support package are credible, in fact many of them overlap with the Fianna Fáil 7 point plan, which was published ahead of the emergency meeting. However, last week’s announcement fails to adequately address the very serious issue of price volatility and price intervention.
“Farmers across the North West have come through a very challenging period; beef prices virtually collapsed in 2014, the prices attained for fruit and veg were substantially cut, and now dairy farmers are facing substantial Superlevy fines following the abolition of milk quotas. We need to see greater market stability mechanisms implemented to address falling prices while at the same time ensuring that farmers are paid a fair price for their produce.
“Fianna Fáil has previously called on the Minister, his European counterparts, and the Commission to trigger the review mechanism under the 2013 CAP regulation. The current intervention levels were set in 2003 and do not reflect the higher production costs that Irish farmers are facing. The fact that there has been no movement on this is extremely disappointing.
“The EC’s commitment to address supply chain issues and unfair trading practices is a welcome development, and I would urge Commissioner Hogan and his colleagues to act without delay on these issues. We need to ensure a functioning agriculture and food sector right across the EU and securing fair prices for our farmers is an integral part of that”.