Proposed EU fertiliser measures ‘will cost farmers €7.5 billion’ – IFA

Fertilizer Europe (FE) has been accused of “seriously undermining the competitiveness of EU agriculture and destroying farmers’ incomes” by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Speaking on the matter, IFA Inputs project team leader John Coughlan called on Trade Defence Instruments (TDI) members to vote against the European Commission’s proposal to impose anti-dumping measures on urea and ammonium nitrate (UAN) mixtures next Tuesday, September 10.

Speaking at a Copa Cogeca briefing session for member state TDI members yesterday in Brussels, Coughlan said:

FE’s campaign for the renewal of the AD measure on imported ammonium nitrate (AN) and a new one on UAN will cost farmers an estimated €7.5 billion and Irish farmers €115 million over the five-year term of the measure.

Labelling FE’s actions both “irresponsible and reprehensible”, Coughlan said that the move shows a “complete disconnect between the EU fertiliser industry and the precarious income situation” that many farms are in.

He added that FE has demonstrated a “complete inability to comprehend the enormity of the impact of these AD measures on family farm incomes”.

The team leader highlighted that farmers are price takers and “don’t have the luxury of passing increased costs downstream” in the agri-food chain.

Continuing, he warned: “The additional costs arising from these proposed AD measures will further erode the EU’s export competitiveness and far outweigh any benefits that could be gained by a small handful of EU fertiliser producers.

FE’s assertion that ‘all fertilisers represent more of an investment to the farmer rather than a cost’ clearly demonstrates a frightening lack of understanding of farmers’ businesses.

Coughlan called on member state TDI representatives at yesterday’s briefing to vote against the European Commission’s proposal for the imposition of AD measures on UAN at next Tuesday’s TDI committee meeting as it will “decimate farmers’ incomes”.