VIDEO: ‘Comprehensive’ package for dairy and pigmeat farmers needed – Coveney

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has called on the EU Commission to deliver a comprehensive package of support to address the current crisis in the dairy and pigmeat sectors.

Minister Coveney was speaking in advance of the Special Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture in Brussels today, while thousands of farmers from across Europe are marching on Brussels today to protest about what they say are ‘crises’ in the sectors.

“I have clearly set out a six point plan, which I believe should form the basis of the Commission’s response to the current market volatility.

“This should include an increase in the advance payment payable under the basic payment scheme and other elements of the direct payment scheme, strengthening support for the market through aids to private storage schemes for cheese and for pigmeat and additional exceptional promotional measures for the dairy and pigmeat sectors especially on third country markets.

“The additional receipts not originally foreseen and arising from this year’s super levy could be used to finance this package. Additional measures such as an increase in intervention prices or increased direct income support should also be considered.”

Minister Coveney also said that it is clear that European and Irish farmers are suffering badly from the current market difficulties and that the suite of measures provided for under the recent reform of the CAP must be deployed now in order to address these difficulties.

“There can be no question of going back to a market management approach within the CAP or equally of revisiting decisions taken by Council on fundamental issues such as the abolition of milk quotas.”