Northern Ireland dairy farmers appeal to EU

Farmer Charlie Weir
Farmer Charlie Weir

A farmers’ lobby group has called for a solution to the over-supply of milk in Europe as EU legislators prepare to discuss the farming crisis affecting Northern Ireland and beyond.

Fair Price Farming NI has described Monday morning’s meeting of the Council of the European Union as an ideal opportunity to address the difficulties facing dairy farmers.

Charles Weir of Fair Price Farming NI. Picture Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Charles Weir of Fair Price Farming NI. Picture Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Chairman Charles Weir said: “Fair Price Farming NI request that processors should structure the supply from their producers to more accurately to relate to product that they can sell at a sustainable price.

“Currently product is being placed into intervention in variable amounts from individual processors with a return of less than 14p per litre and in some instances milk is being moved on at prices below the current intervention level. If a small reduction in input were to applied it would remove this cost burden from the industry and inevitably return a better price at farm level,” he said.

The EU gathering will discuss difficulties in various agricultural sectors, including the pig meat, dairy and fruit and vegetables.

The debate is also described as helping “to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the market support measures currently in place, and whether additional measures could be envisaged.”