Union representatives meet Tynan to discuss impact of ongoing dairy crisis

UFU representatives have repeated calls for dairy intervention to Tom Tynan
UFU representatives have repeated calls for dairy intervention to Tom Tynan

The Ulster Farmers Union has repeated calls for the European Commission to review dairy intervention levels during a meeting with Tom Tynan, the main advisor to the farm commissioner, Phil Hogan.

The UFU was there as part of a delegation of UK farm lobby organisations. The meeting took place ahead of a special farm council to discuss the crisis facing agriculture across Europe.

Speaking after the meeting UFU dairy committee chairman, Jonathan Moore, said: “Current dairy intervention thresholds fail to provide any genuine assistance.

“EU regulations clearly state that reference thresholds will be kept under review, taking into account objective criteria including the cost of production and market trends.”

Further issues in relation to the Super Levy were also on the agenda. In particular the case was made that levy funds should be retained within the dairy sector and not lost to the general EU budget. The UFU has also called for a more effective Milk Market Observatory (MMO).

“As it currently stands the MMO has no credible real price information available. Without this an effective futures dairy market would not be possible,” said Mr Moore. UFU also raised concerns about the lack of a Margin Protection Insurance, which is used in the US to protect farmers from low prices.

“A similar scheme would be beneficial in Northern Ireland. Many sectors are experiencing extreme price volatility and insurance would offer some form of security for all sectors,” said Mr Moore.