ICOS raises concern over MEP’s ‘push’ for return of supply controls in dairy sector
ICOS has raised concerns over the planned “Production Curbing System” proposed by Agriculture MEP’s in the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy.
It says the supply management tool, which would apply to all economic sectors, including dairy, would impose a levy on farmers who increase their production, in order to finance an aid scheme for farmers who reduce their production, in times of market imbalance.
“ICOS has raised its strong opposition to this proposal among MEPs, which would be hugely damaging to Irish dairy farmers and co-operatives and would serve to undermine the significant on-farm and processing investments made by the industry in recent years,” Alison Graham, ICOS European Affairs Executive.
She was reacting to the outcome of the votes in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020, which took place last night and this morning.
Graham said that at every opportunity this Parliament has pushed for a return to supply management of the dairy sector through the use of such a tool, ignoring the market realities of the global supply-demand balance.
“There are more effective market management tools already on hand to prevent and address a market disturbance, which does not risk undermining the investment and sustainability of the European dairy sector.
“We hope that the next Parliament can undo this damaging trend and focus on policy stability so that farmers and the agri-food industry can focus instead on meeting new and evolving environmental objectives,” she said.
Supply Management has support from some quarters in Europe. The European Milk Board has said that the European milk market is under considerable pressure from volumes, with milk supply manifestly exceeding demand.
It claims that while the EU Commission has been trying to stabilise the market with export refunds and by storing vast quantities of butter and milk powder, these measures have already cost hundreds of millions of Euros and have not prevented the slump in the milk price.
Its position is that it is not enough to be active on the sales level and that the production volume has to be reduced.