ICMSA: Every option must be used to support dairy market

Commenting on reports that the March 14 Farm Council meeting will see the French government proposing possible supply-side restrictions aimed at boosting dairy prices, ICMSA president John Comer said that the starting position in the EU dairy debate had to be the realisation that milk quotas have been abolished “and will not be coming back”.
ICMSA: Every option must be used to support dairy market

Mr Comer said that farmers across the EU have invested in facilities to increase their herd size and it was simply not tenable to tell them to stop now or, indeed, reverse a process into which years of planning and investment had been sunk.

None of this, he said, was to detract from the scale of the crisis and the need for all and every other tool to be used to support the dairy market.

“Everyone now recognises the EU dairy market is in a crisis situation. As far as ICMSA is concerned everything, excepting the non-starter that is a call for the reintroduction of quotas, is on the table and deserves consideration,” said Mr Comer.

“There is as well the need to look at this in terms of immediate response and more medium-term options.

"Our preferred immediate response is that the intervention price for butter and skim milk powder be raised to 28c per litre with an increase, also, in the purchase in limits.”

Mr Comer said that farmers need to give themselves the space and time to work out how to re-balance supply and demand on a systematic basis. He suggested that raising the intervention price would give the sector that time.

“If the EU Farm Council decides against this and decide to go immediately on supply-side options, then ICMSA’s position is that such options must be voluntary,” he said.

“In this, countries where dairy prices have collapsed totally we’d support a scheme to allow willing farmers who want to voluntarily reduce production to do so — we’re probably talking there about those countries most affected by the Russian ban — but on the strict understanding that family farms who have expansion plans in place are not impeded in any way in the operation of those plans.”

More in this section

Farming
Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up