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Ireland and France Work Together For Dairy Industry

25 September 2009

EU - The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, yesterday met with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Paris to discuss measures to assist dairy farmers.

The Ministers welcomed the decision to hold a special meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers on 5 October to discuss measures to support the sector. Both Ministers called on the EU Commission to increase the level and scope of export refunds and to continue to apply all available market support measures.

"France and Ireland are traditionally close in EU agriculture discussions and this is also true in relation to the need for strong action to support dairy farmers at the present time. It is gratifying and reassuring to have such a strong ally on this key issue for Irish farmers", said Minister Smith.

Ministers Smith and Le Maire also discussed the future of the Common Agriculture Policy after 2013. Minister Smith said "The negotiations on the future of the CAP are of course absolutely vital for Irish farmers and it is important for us to have a good understanding of the positions of France and other Member States. For my part, I was concerned to convey to my French colleague our view that a strong and well-resourced CAP is more important than ever to support sustainable European agriculture and to ensure a secure supply of high-quality food to European consumers. I believe that we are of like mind on this objective". Negotiations on the new CAP are expected to intensify in 2010.

In a joint statement regarding the European dairy market, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic and Italy urged the European Commission to act without delay and:

  • to submit a proposal for a temporary increase in the intervention price and consequently
  • to increase export refunds for butter, milk powder and cheese, whilst preventing any form of market distortion in developing countries;
  • to reactivate the temporary suspended aid for the usage of skim milk and skim milk powder in feedingstuffs ;
  • to make sure that the disposal of butter and milk powder bought by public intervention occurs only after prices have significantly risen, in order to prevent new disturbances on the milk market ;
  • to examine the opportunity of a EU program to modernise and adapt the dairy sector.

 

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