'˜Commission needs to act on dairy support'

MEP Diane Dodds has called on the European Commission to take urgent action to ensure that EU stocks of Skim Milk Powder do not further undermine global dairy prices.

Mrs Dodds made the call following the sale of a further 25,000 tonnes of skim milk powder at very low prices.

She has called on the EU Commissioner Phil Hogan to bring forward a new initiative that will allow for the release of skim milk powder without undermining global dairy trade.

The MEP commented: “There were positive signs from the latest Global Dairy Trade auction which saw the average price of dairy products increase. This is welcome news and indicates that there should not be any significant weakening of local dairy markets. The global market is however being undermined by the stocks of skim milk powder currently being held in EU intervention. This week’s tender has resulted in approximately 25,000 tonnes of skim milk powder being sold at very low prices. The current system is not working and is resulting in undermining the European markets rather than supporting them.

“Over recent months I have been calling on the European Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan to take action. The current tendering system for products in intervention is not working and is undermining dairy markets throughout the world. It is time for the European Commission to scrap the current tendering system and use the skim milk powder in storage for animal feeds. This would take the pressure off the cost of protein in animal diets and allow for global dairy markets to return to normality,” added Mrs Dodds.

“There is little hope for the European Commission to continue to hold onto product in storage when there is little prospect of its value increasing. It is time for the Commission to accept that their current policy has failed and undermines rather than supports the markets.”

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