IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Tom Phelan has taken issue with EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s statement warning farmers not to expect the EU to “bail them out” if milk prices drop.
Farmers do not want a bail out, Mr Phelan said. They want the Commission to live up to its responsibilities on market management, especially around SMP intervention.
“Farmers legitimately expect the EU Commission to play its full part in ensuring that the market management tools within CAP are fully and properly utilised to provide a safety net when markets weaken,” Mr Phelan said.
“The main reason dairy experts expect a more challenging 2018 is the price-depressing effect of the persistent stock of intervention SMP, which it is the responsibility of the EU Commission to manage to avoid market disturbance.
“Farmers do not expect a bail out, but they are entitled to expect that the CAP tools available to the Commission to manage markets are utilised optimally, as they were intended, for the purposes set out for them in CAP,” he said.