EU - The European Commission has presented a new package of measures worth €500 million from EU funds to support farmers in the face of ongoing market difficulties, particularly on the dairy market.
The measures were presented by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan: "Coming at a time of significant budgetary pressures, this package provides a further robust response, and means that the Commission has mobilised more than €1 billion in new money to support hard-pressed farmers."
The package includes an EU-wide scheme to incentivise a reduction in milk production (€150 million) and aid to be defined and implemented at Member State level out of a menu proposed by the Commission (€350 million).
In addition, the Commission will introduce technical changes to measures to provide more flexibility in farm support, with precise details to be finalised in coming weeks.
However, farmer organisation the European Milk Board (EMB) said the measures were still not enough, as it said the majority of the package (€350 million) is going to ill-defined measures.
Romuald Schaber, President of the EMB, expressed disappointment: "Production cuts is the label used to describe the current package of measures. However, no one wants to take a crack at their proper implementation.
"Merely 150 million euros shall be used for measures to reduce production. This amount is not nearly enough in light of the severity of the current crisis." The organisation added that the measures do not address the risks of production decreasing in some areas but not others.
In the UK, NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes commented: “I am pleased that the Commission has once again shown support for our sector. However, in terms of a voluntary management scheme, UK farmers have reacted to market conditions accordingly with production already pulled back significantly - daily deliveries for the last two weeks of June are nine per cent lower than the same period last year. This is without financial incentive.
"While grateful to the Commission for today’s announcement, we all want to see a sector that is competitive and market-orientated.”
TheCattleSite News Desk