IFA President IFA, Eddie Downey said EU measures proposed last Monday in Brussels were insufficient to address the income crisis facing farm families.
He warned that the EU food chain is broken, with below-cost selling by retailers, and cartels controlling the cost of inputs such as fertilisers which farmers have to buy.
He said, “It is critically important that the Commission step up with a strong declaration that Europe will ban below-cost selling of food and address the excessive input costs imposed on farmers.
“It is vital that Farm Ministers take action to ensure the EU Single Market is working properly”.
“Grain farmers across Europe are experiencing their third successive year of prices below the cost of production.
“The political establishment needs to wake up. Their failure to rein in speculative investment in agricultural commodities and tackle fertiliser price cartels is compounding the situation.
“Farm families cannot ride out the boom/bust cycles resulting from speculative investment.”
The President of ICMSA, John Comer, said that the very least that milk suppliers needed from the Farm Council meeting was immediate introduction of an intervention price equivalent to 28 cents per litre of milk for farmers.
He said the agriculture minister also dodged a real confrontation over margin-grabbing by corporate retailers, and the current ‘do-nothing’ attitude still reigns, with no sign of EU policy proportionate to the serious threat Europe’s dairy farmers face.
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