EU Commitment to Intervention Must Remain Even as It Rightly Seeks to Deplete Overhanging SMP Stock – Phelan

Commenting on the eve of the Virginia Dairy Show, which he will be attending tomorrow, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Tom Phelan expressed some concern at the EU Commission’s proposal, to be agreed this autumn, to extend to 2019 its SMP intervention buying in policy in order to further deplete stocks and prevent short term build up.  He said it was very clear to him this must not mean a lesser EU Commission commitment to intervention as part of its market management tool kit.  Mr Phelan called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and his officials to insist that this commitment be reiterated by the EU Commission as part of this proposed temporary measure.

“IFA takes the view that effective, responsive recourse to intervention when markets require it is a crucial part of the CAP tool box to protect farmers’ incomes from the severe market slumps, as we have seen in 2009 and in 2016, and will no doubt see again as market, weather and geopolitical volatility continue to impact dairy prices,” Mr Phelan said.

“In this respect, we are concerned by the proposal to extend to 2019 the temporary 2018 measure which saw a zero limit to the quantity of SMP the Commission is committed to purchasing at the reference price of €1698/t.  We also take a strong view that this should not become a template for the post 2020 CAP market management measures,” he stated.

“We understand and support, in the current dairy market context, the importance of driving down overhanging intervention stocks of SMP and preventing further build up.  However, we believe the Minister and DAFM officials should insist on the EU Commission reiterating its commitment to market management through judicious and responsive recourse to intervention buying-in, among other tools, both to prevent and deal with market crises,” he concluded.

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