Speaking this week from Brussels where she was attending the COPA emergency dairy meeting to discuss measures the EU Commission should adopt to support dairy markets in the wake of the Russian ban, IFA Dairy Executive Catherine Lascurettes said all COPA member organisations agreed with IFA’s view that strong decisive measures must be announced by the EU Commission to help turn around the negative dairy market sentiment recently exacerbated by the Russian ban.
She said the emergency measures already announced by the EU Commission – the extension of the Private Storage Aid to commodity cheeses and the lengthening of the intervention buy in period to the end of the calendar year – were good first steps. However, they have been shown to be insufficient to turn around market sentiments and encourage buyers to lift their bids, as proven by this week’s GDT result, despite the fact that most market experts agree current global dairy product prices are at unsustainable levels.
IFA, through COPA and directly, is seeking the maximum possible length to the extended Private Storage Aid Scheme, but also a review of the intervention price levels, which no longer reflect either the average dairy product prices of recent years, or indeed production costs. IFA also wants the EU Commission to ease the red tape for export licences and assess the potential for export refunds to play a part in helping EU exporters find alternative markets.
IFA has also strongly argued that, as the causes of the Russian import bans are geopolitical in nature, and therefore the cost of these exceptional measures should not come from CAP funds.