Dairy Forum to seek to solve farm income crisis

The dairy sector needs to have a co-ordinated approach to minimise volatility in milk prices and input costs, the IFA said ahead of today’s Dairy Forum in Dublin. 

The inaugural meeting of co-ops, input merchants, Teagasc, the banks and the Government will discuss how weak dairy markets and milk price volatility have hit farm incomes.

IFA president Eddie Downey said: “The forum must ensure all stakeholders help farmers manage the difficult situation and especially cashflow.

“Flexible and competitive loan repayment options and full delivery on increased advance payment of the EU Basic and Rural Development payments are vital.”

IFA dairy chairman Sean O’Leary, called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to first match the €13.7m EU funds with national funds as permitted by the EU Commission and get the benefits out to farmers as soon as possible.

“A co-ordinated approach must include flexible finance, individualised income equalisation for taxation purposes, risk management options through futures markets and industry indices, indexed and fixed-price supply contracts, and margin protection mechanisms,” said Mr O’Leary.


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