The President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Mr. John Comer, has welcomed the appointment of Phil Hogan as EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner and said it was a recognition of his knowledge  of farming and wider rural  issues as well as his political doggedness and determination.

Mr Comer said that, from an Irish farming perspective, it is very encouraging that an Irishman will now head up EU agriculture policy which has a direct influence in every townland in Ireland and is our key indigenous industry.

The ICMSA President listed the immediate challenges facing Mr Hogan as including the fallout of the Russian ban, the ongoing price squeeze at farm level across the EU, the implementation of the new CAP, the defence of the EU’s food producers from any threat posed by the Mercusor and TTIP talks and critically– the tackling of the overwhelming powers and abuses perpetrated by the powerful retail corporations who maintain and increase their own margins while driving primary producers out of  business.

Irish farmers, said Mr Comer, are looking forward to engaging with the new Commissioner and will be hoping that he will address the many challenges facing agriculture at this time and that his policies will help to develop and sustain Irish agriculture and allow us to pursue the many opportunities available to our food producers.