Nicholson holds series of meetings on dairy concerns

Jim Nicholson
Jim Nicholson

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has recently held a series of meetings focusing on the difficulties currently being experienced in the local dairy sector.

Mr Nicholson highlighted the impact of falling markets and farmgate prices and discussed the EU’s response with European Commission officials Peter Dautzenberg and Hermanus Versteijlen

Mr Nicholson said: “During my meeting with senior Commission officials I again highlighted how the dairy sector in Northern Ireland is particularly exposed to market volatility due to our reliance on exports.

“During our discussion I stressed that intervention at a realistic rate would help to support the market and reduce the pain being felt along the dairy supply chain. Earlier this week I also raised local concerns directly with Commissioner Hogan and his team in Strasbourg.”

The Ulster Unionist MEP said that both the Commission officials and Commissioner currently continue to rule out taking further measures.

Mr Nicholson has also met with Mansel Raymond, Dairy Chairman of Copa - the organisation which represents over 60 EU farming unions - to discuss both the challenges facing the dairy sector and the dairy report he is leading on behalf of the Agriculture Committee adding: “The report I am preparing on the dairy sector will examine the measures currently available to support the market and make recommendations regarding the framework needed to help ensure a profitable sector in the longer term.”