The European Commission has presented a new package of measures worth €500 million from EU funds to support farmers in the face of ongoing market difficulties, particularly on the dairy market. The package includes:
Advances to 70% for direct payments from 16 October 2016 and 85% for area-based rural development payments, after finalisation of the administrative checks.
A milk production reduction scheme
€150 million to support a voluntary reduction of EU milk deliveries. This scheme will operate at EU level so that farmers across the Union have access to it under the same conditions.
Conditional adjustment aid
€350 million to be implemented by measures at Member State level – Ireland will be allocated €11.1m Member states may top-up this aid by 100%.
Voluntary Coupled Support
Member States are given the possibility to review their Voluntary Coupled Support (VCS) arrangements for the dairy sector to provide that the payment is decoupled in 2017.
Extension of public intervention for SMP
Public intervention for SMP to be extended until end of February 2017, when the standard period resumes. The ceiling up to which SMP is bought-in at fixed price stays at 350 000 t until the end of December 2016.
Extension of the private storage aid schemes for SMP
Both the standard (between 90 and 210 days storage) and the enhanced (365 day storage) SMP schemes to be extended until the end of February 2017.
Fruits and vegetables
Support updated for withdrawals made by producer organisations in the fruit and vegetables sector.