DII ‘frustrated’ at EU ‘stalling’ on market stabilising tools amidst crisis

In the aftermath of today’s meeting of EU agriculture ministers, Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) has vented its frustration at the “lack of movement” on vital market stabilising tools – such as private storage aid.

In a statement issued tonight, Wednesday, March 25, DII director Conor Mulvihill reiterated the representative body’s view that “all supports and flexibility” must be given to the dairy industry as peak period approaches.

Failure to do so, he warns, would have “serious consequences” for the sector.

Since the arrival of the Covid-19 virus pandemic in Ireland, DII has been working with Government – and at EU level – to communicate the Irish dairy sector’s unique exposure to the crisis, specifically in relation to the long-term financial health of dairy companies and suppliers.

“Our exports of over 90% of our product, allied with our small domestic consumer market in Ireland, has meant that our businesses and farmers are more exposed to the food-service category – which has collapsed worldwide with the crisis.

Also Read: Creed calls on EU to deploy ‘full range of supports available’ for agri-food

“DII acknowledges the role of Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, at the meeting who led requests for EU tools to be enabled.

“This is EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski’s first real test and we are urging him to make an announcement straight away to bring calm to the markets.

“DII has for many weeks asked strongly for the market support toolbox to be cast open to support markets.”

Intervention

Mulvihill also emphasised the importance of securing private storage aid, export credit insurance – and even intervention.

“While we completely support the initial focus of Government and the EU is to protect public health and keep food on the shelves, we also need to ensure that we have an industry and farmers that can survive this – and thrive when we come out of this period.

This is Ireland’s biggest native industry supporting thousands of families and jobs across the island; it needs and deserves long-term protection.

DII represents primary and secondary dairy manufacturers, including the specialised nutrition sector in Ireland.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for all the latest updates and information on Covid-19 for farmers…

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