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Union Repeats its Demand for Dairy Intervention Levels to be Reviewed

Scottish officeholders to take part in Monday’s Brussels demo
 
NFU Scotland has repeated its calls for the European Commission to instigate a technical review of intervention levels in the face of a European-wide dairy crisis.
 
Meeting with fellow European farming unions, including colleagues from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, NFU Scotland pushed the case that the European Commission must commit to initiate a technical review of the Intervention Reference Thresholds on skimmed milk powder and butter.
 
NFU Scotland remains adamant that given the deepening crisis in the sector, the current Intervention Reference Thresholds for these products do not provide a suitable floor for the market.   The issue of intervention levels was raised with EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan when he visited Scotland in June and will be raised again tomorrow (2 September) when representatives of the UK farming unions meet with a representative of Mr Hogan’s staff body.
 
A high level delegation from NFU Scotland will be in Brussels on Monday (7 September) when COPA COGECA – the umbrella organisation for European farming unions and co-operatives – holds a demonstration outside the meeting of European farm ministers to highlight the depth of the crisis across many farm sectors.
 
Speaking from Brussels, NFU Scotland’s Policy Adviser John Armour said: “At a COPA dairy meeting today there was clear consensus that current dairy intervention thresholds fail to provide any genuine assistance in this deepening crisis and should be reviewed with urgency.
 
“Europe’s own regulations clearly state that reference thresholds will be kept under review by the Commission, taking into account objective criteria, notably developments in production, costs of production including inputs and market trends.
 
“To all informed observers, these key criteria have changed markedly in the space of the last 12 months and a review must be instigated.  It was a point raised with Commissioner Hogan earlier this summer and a matter we will discuss again with his staff tomorrow.
 
“We will also push the case that the European Milk Market Observatory (MMO) – set up to provide the sector with short-term transparent analysis and data - be strengthened to provide more timely and accurate market information. 
 
“It is imperative that the European Commission increase the intelligence provided by the MMO, and ensure that member states accurately report production, to allow farmers and processors to manage their milk production more effectively.
 
“The provision of more accurate analysis would provide a platform for the development of ‘margin protection measures’ such as the establishment of futures markets that could offer the sector some protection in the face of such extreme volatility.
 
“And on wider supply chain matters, the Union also agreed that the European High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain must establish clear and strong recommendations which better recognises the role of all primary producers and gives a better share of risk and reward across the whole European food supply chain.”  Ends
 
Notes to Editors
  • In response to the drastic situation hitting EU farmers in many sectors, Copa and Cogeca are holding a mass demonstration outside the EU Agriculture Ministers’ extraordinary meeting taking place in Brussels on 7 September to underline the unprecedented situation and demand action.  
  • NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie, Vice President Rob Livesey and Livestock Committee Chairman Charlie Adam will be in Brussels for the demonstration on Monday.

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006.

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 165/15


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