McGuinness calls for special meeting to deal with falling prices

MEP Mairead McGuinness has called for a special meeting of the EU Agriculture Committee to debate the the falling prices farmers are receiving for their produce.

The MEP for the Midlands North-West has written to the Chair of the Agriculture Committee Czesław Adam Siekierski calling for a debate on the state of agriculture markets.

“While the focus in Ireland is on the dairy market, across the EU there is concern about falling prices for fruit and veg, pork, beef and dairy.

“The situation has escalated with farmers in Belgium, France and the UK taking direct action amid concerns about farm viability,” she said.

McGuinness said that it’s imperative that these issues are addressed at EU level to avoid a situation where EU farmers from different Member States are pitted against each other and are acting in isolation from each other rather than having a shared interest in tackling these issues.

“The Russian embargo, uncertainty in the Chinese market, trends in global agriculture all impact on EU farmers and this needs to be acknowledged as a first step.

“Commodity price volatility is a reality but the tools to deal with it at farm level are lacking.

“When prices collapse, farm incomes take a hammering,” McGuinness warned.

The MEP said that the Chairman has already expressed his concerns about the situation and she believes he will respond to her call in a positive way.