NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has expressed scepticism that the EU's scheme for voluntary reductions in milk supply will be of long-term benefit to the sector.
The EU Commission’s €500m aid package for farmers, announced last week, includes €150m to support a voluntary reduction in milk supply and €350m to be divided into national payments.
Dairy policy committee chairman William Irvine said: “We still don’t have all specifics in regards to the practical details of the schemes outlined in the EU Commission’s aid package but already the committee has serious concerns in relation to the scheme to support a voluntary reduction in milk supply.
"Spread across 28 member states, €150m is not likely to stretch far enough to provide meaningful financial support to farmers."
In addition, to committee said key member states were unwilling to support the scheme, with farm organisation support also "lukewarm".
“Ultimately, it will be up to individual farmers as to whether or not taking part in the voluntary reduction scheme is the best course of action for their businesses. However, our concern is that farmers here sacrifice milk output for a small amount in compensation, only to find that because others have not done so and then income is lost for no increase in the milk price,” said Mr Irvine.
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