EU Commission must deliver greater aid supports to protect farmers & Agri-food sector – McConalogue

Published on: 22 April 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD has said that the EU Commission must deliver greater aid supports to protect farmers and the agri-food sector from the impact of the coronavirus.

He said, “It is welcome that European Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski finally relented today by announcing the deployment of private storage aid for dairy and beef; market support flexibilities; and a derogation from EU Competition rules.

“However, the announcement is underwhelming overall. The financial aid is insufficient to meet the severity of the Covid-19 crisis and the hit on vulnerable sectors like beef.

“With the final details of the supports to be unveiled tomorrow, it is being reported that in the region of €80m will allocated towards private storage aid for dairy and meat product.  This simply does not go far enough when one looks at how farm prices have plummeted as the crisis deepens.

“I am very disappointed that the Commission today failed to announce any market disturbance funding and exceptional aid measures under Articles 219 & 221 of the CAP’s Common Market Organisation Regulation.

“The deployment of immediate emergency aid funding for vulnerable farm sectors is imperative. Beef farmers have seen prices plummet to €3.40 per KG and need direct assistance.

“Ireland and likeminded countries must maintain a united force and exert significant pressure on the European Commission. The latter must act much more decisively, show solidarity with the primary producer, agri-food sector and deliver a significant increase in aid,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.

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