FG MEP Mairead McGuinness warns as EU farmers turn on each other

Mairead McGuinness, MEP

The danger of EU farmers from different member states turning against each other and acting in isolation has been highlighted by Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness.

As farmer protests mounted across member states, the Vice-President of the European Parliament called for a debate at the earliest opportunity on the state of agriculture markets.

She said, “While the focus in Ireland is on the dairy market, across the EU there is concern about falling prices for fruit and veg, pork, beef and dairy.

“The situation has escalated with farmers in Belgium, France and the UK taking direct action amid concerns about farm viability.

She said, “The Russian embargo, uncertainty in the Chinese market, trends in global agriculture, all impact on EU farmers, and this needs to be acknowledged as a first step.

“Commodity price volatility is a reality, but the tools to deal with it at farm level are lacking.

Ms McGuinness has asked the Chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, Czeslaw Adam Siekierski, to convene a special meeting on the farmer crisis.

Meanwhile, French and German dairy farmers’ organisations have published a joint statement emphasising solidarity between them, and saying they do not support any statements blaming the farmers of another country for milk market difficulties.

Earlier, protesting French farmers had dumped German produce at the border.

French farmers have also antagonised Spanish farmers with similar actions in the south.


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