Deputy Michael Lowry has urged the Government and Minister Simon Coveney to take action with the on-going crises within the Dairy Industry which has resulted in the continuing dramatic decline of Milk Prices.
Deputy Lowry was speaking in response to research compiled by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA)
“The recent Research conducted by economics professor Alan Mathews of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has shown Tipperary will see a fall of probably €111m through direct reduction in milk price and the multiplier effect that sees that milk price spent in local communities. The research has shown that milk prices per litre has fallen from 38.4 cent per litre to a low of 28 cent per litre in some parts of the country.
From speaking to Dairy Farmers across Tipperary it is evident they are under severe financial pressure due to these falling prices. We must not forget Co-op’s such as Arrabawn, Drombane, Centenary/Thurles, Tipperary, Mullinahone, Glanbia and Dairygold. These Co-op’s are providing massive employment within the county and are currently making great efforts to support Milk prices from within their own resource. This is providing vital support for many Tipperary based farming families.
Increased production internationally particularly in New Zealand and the United States coupled with the European ban on Russia and China’s economic weakness have all had an negative impact on Irish Milk price. It is now time for Dublin and Brussels to introduce practical measures to ensure that thousands of farming families in Tipperary will come through this crisis”
Deputy Lowry Concluded:
“I have suggested in my representations to Deputy Coveney and the Government to introduce a 5-point Dairy Recovery Plan:
- Early approval and payment of all Farmer Schemes & Grants to Farming Families. This will provide much needed cash flow in the Farming community.
- I am calling on the Minister for Finance Deputy Michael Noonan to investigate the possibility to allow provisions for Dairy Farmers to defer their upcoming tax bill to the next tax year. The inclusion of this in Budget 2016 would allow time for milk prices to recover and in turn will help cash flow for the farming community.
- That the banking sector should be instructed to investigate the possibility of providing low interest rate bridging loans to Dairy Farmers Nationally.
- €70 million of European Superlevy fines have been imposed on the Irish Dairy Industry. I have called on Minister Coveney to work with other EU Agricultural Ministers and Farming Organisations to ensure that this €70 million is retained within the EU Agricultural Budget. An emergency meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers is scheduled for September 7th in Brussels.
- That the Department of Agriculture continue working with Co-op’s to develop tools to allow farmers hedge portions of their milk at fixed prices to protect them from the volatility of the market.
I truly believe these provisions will allow the Dairy Farming Community in Tipperary to recover and in turn secure the future of 1,000’s of Jobs in Dairy Farming Industry. I would also call on the EU Commission to raise the intervention floor price for dairy product. This in turn would give some confidence to the market as well as giving confidence to the producer”