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European Commission announces €500m dairy package

 

€500 million has been made available to EU dairy farmers, but the NFU is calling for the Commission to allow Member States some flexibility in distributing it.


Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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The UK will receive the third highest share of the fund in the EU
The UK will receive the third highest share of the fund in the EU

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has announced €500m (£419,791,836) will be made available to EU dairy farmers to compensate for the global market downturn.

 

The UK will receive €30,195,996 (£25,356,554.13) which is the third highest share in the EU.

 

Speaking during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, Conservative MEP, Richard Ashworth thanked Mr Hogan for the support but said: "This package is, and can only be, a short term, sticking plaster measure and we need to find long term solutions.

 

"The current crisis in the sector crisis is driven by global factors affecting global commodities and no local solutions will change that."

 

 

Read now: UK Statistics Authority rules dairy figures are materially misleading

 

Flexibility

 

The NFU has welcomed the fund announcement but has urged the Commission to allow Member States some flexibility in distributing it.

 

NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said: "I am pleased that the Commission has once again shown support for our sector.

 

"However, in terms of a voluntary management scheme, UK farmers have reacted to market conditions accordingly with production already pulled back significantly - daily deliveries for the last two weeks of June are nine per cent lower than the same period last year.

 

"This is without financial incentive. While grateful to the Commission for today’s announcement, we all want to see a sector that is competitive and market-orientated.

 

Conditions

 

"It’s also essential that the Commission comes forward as soon as possible with the details on the conditions around the financial support.

 

"The UK government must be given flexibility to decide how this money is used and should consult with industry to utilise this money as soon as possible."

 

George Eustice, Farming Minister said the package will help ’stabilise prices and the flexibility in how it is used’.

 

Challenging

 

He said: "Our farmers have been through a challenging period of persistent low prices which is why I welcome the additional financial package announced today to help stabilise prices and the flexibility in how it is used.

 

"We will now carefully consider how best to use this money to benefit dairy farmers in the UK. It is also important that longer term measures continue to be prioritised.

 

"We are already seeing milk production falling in the UK which is helping to rebalance the current oversupply that is contributing to low prices.

 

"There is a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see some more positive signals in the dairy market that suggest a brighter future for our hard-working farmers."

 


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