Conditional adjustment aid, defined and implemented at Member State level from a menu proposed by the Commission, makes up €350m of the EU’s new €500m farmer aid package.
It can be matched with national funds in member states, thus potentially doubling the support to farmers. Such top-ups are not subject to EU state aid restrictions.
Member States will have flexibility to define their conditional adjustment measures — such as extensive production methods, support for small farms, coop projects, further measures to reduce production, etc. There will also be scope to cover other livestock sectors.
The €150m EU-wide scheme to incentivise reduction in farmers’ milk deliveries is the other main element of the package.
Another significant feature is that the many Member States paying support coupled to dairy cows can decouple this support in 2017, if they wish.
Member States will also be allowed to advance up to 70% of Direct Payments from October 16, and 85% of area-based Rural Development payments, without completing on-farm checks.
Meanwhile, the Commission intends to extend public intervention for skimmed milk powder (SMP) until March, 2017, but the ceiling for buying in SMP at a fixed price stays at 350,000t until the New Year.
The Commission will also extend private storage aid schemes for SMP until March, 2017.
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