Clune expresses support for dairy farmers as we face difficult market
Clune meets with Dairygold CEO Jim Wolfe as the price of milk is expected to drop further
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has raised further concerns over Milk Prices with Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan amidst fears that we are expecting further price pressure on milk in the coming months.
Speaking after a meeting with Dairygold CEO Jim Wolfe, MEP Clune said that there are a number of positives and negatives facing dairy farmers at the moment,
"Whilst milk volumes are up some 14% since quotas were abolished and the weather has been good for grass growth, milk prices remain a concern. I have asked the Commission to undertake an immediate review of the dairy intervention prices. The current intervention price of 22 c/litre which was last adjusted (downwards) in 2008, is now below the level of production costs. An increase in this price must be implemented to secure a genuine safety net for farmers.
"Irish farm production costs (fuel; fertiliser and feed) have, over the years, increased substantially. A National Farm Survey conducted by Teagasc revealed that dairy-specific production costs have increased significantly from 15 c/litre in 1984 to 25.5 c/litre in 2014. Monitoring of the average dairy margins amongst other member states, as carried out by the EU Milk Market Observatory shows that since the forth quarter of 2014, European farmers have been producing milk at a loss.
"The Russian imports ban is another problem for the industry along with low grain prices in the USA leading to increased milk production and lower prices. The Chinese economic slowdown is hindering the sale of milk powder products and exports in that field.
"The next few months will be a challenging time for dairy farmers and I hope to meet with Commissioner Hogan again in September to impress upon him the importance of a fair intervention price.