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Union Seeks Further Clarity on EU Dairy Package Commitment

Tabled package short-term positive step, but unlikely to solve dairy sector’s problems

A €500 million dairy package, announced by the European Commission this week, is a positive step in the right direction to assist the sector, however NFU Scotland believes that further clarification is needed as to how the schemes will work.

Yesterday (19 July) the European Commission laid out plans for the package which would see €150 million allocated as an incentive to dairy producers across the European Union to reduce production and €350 million in national envelopes to member states.

It is understood that the UK is set to get just over €30 million – a sum lower in Euro terms than the country’s €40 million allocation from a separate, but similar, EU aid package last September. The UK Government will be able to ‘top-up’ this money by up to 100 per cent, using treasury funding if it chooses to do so.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker commented: “While global sums of money have been announced there is as yet too little detail and too many unknowns to say what this will mean for a dairy farmer in Scotland.  What Commissioner Hogan has outlined will not in itself resolve the extensive, ongoing issues facing dairy farmers at this present time but does have the potential to at least help.

“NFU Scotland was heavily involved in the discussions and lobbying through Copa-Cogeca and together with the other UK farming unions’ through our Brussels office to bring about this package of support.

“We have already discussed with Scottish Government the need for this package of measures to be delivered urgently and have asked that it uses the option of match funding to double the amount of money that can be used to support the dairy industry.

“Scotland will be represented by UK officials at tomorrow’s (Wednesday 20 July) technical meeting in Brussels when the details on how the money can be spent will be agreed.

“We have worked with Scottish officials to ensure that the UK’s position takes into account the needs of Scottish producers and that these are fully addressed as the details of how the money is to be delivered is agreed.

“We need the maximum flexibility to be allowed to deliver this money where it is most needed and where it will have the biggest impact for the Scottish dairy industry.

“Once the options for payment have been agreed the Union will be sitting done with the Scottish Government to see how this money will be spent in Scotland.”

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 173/16


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