‘Report highlights benefits of cooperation’

Ulster Farmers' Union - dairy cows at Greenmout Agricultural College. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Ulster Farmers' Union - dairy cows at Greenmout Agricultural College. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has said that the second report on the implementation of the so-called Milk Package highlights the benefits that can come from greater cooperation between producers.

Mr Nicholson also questioned why some Member States, including the UK, appear to fail to provide the European Commission with information within the deadline set out as part of the Milk Package.

Mr Nicholson who was lead MEP during the Milk Package negotiations said: “The Milk Package came into force in 2012 in response to the 2009 dairy crisis. The Package was developed to help strengthen the position of producers in the dairy supply chain.

“The evidence presented in the report suggests that two key aspects of the Package; Producer Organisations (POs) and collective negotiations are helping to improve the position of EU dairy producers within the supply chain.

“The report does however suggest that these measures are not yet being fully exploited and recommends additional financial support for POs plus suggests that campaigns to increase awareness of their potential benefits should be considered by Member States.”

The implementation report was originally planned to be published in 2018, however EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan made a commitment to bring forward its publication.