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IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has said the €500m budget of non-CAP funding supports agreed by the EU Council this week, probably mostly consisting of superlevy funds, is worthwhile. However, the uses the EU Council and Commission wish to put the fund to in the dairy sector miss out on a major opportunity to deliver a realistic floor for product prices in the context of extreme global market fluctuations EU farmers are poorly equipped to deal with. He asked: “Is the EU again playing for time and leaving farmers to await the inevitable, but slow coming, recovery?”

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IFA President Eddie Downey held what he described as a very constructive bilateral meeting with the German Farmers’ Association in Berlin last week.

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IFA President Eddie Downey and National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary were in Brussels this week to meet with members of Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s cabinet to discuss the IFA’s case for an increase in the dairy intervention safety net level, and the use of superlevy funds to support dairy farmers. They urged Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to work on achieving support from as many fellow Agriculture Council members as possible ahead of their early September meeting to deliver on both issues.

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Commenting on the response from EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, received by IFA to its request for a review of the EU dairy intervention safety net, IFA President Eddie Downey said this is not about encouraging higher production. He said, it is about sending a clear signal to buyers that they cannot exploit the vulnerabilities of the sector when returns are below production costs, and that they must start buying at realistic, sustainable prices.

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IFA President Eddie Downey this week met with and wrote to EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan to express his concerns on dairy price pressures. He asked the Commissioner to have his services undertake an immediate review of dairy intervention prices, as the Commission is mandated to do under Article 7.2 of the European Parliament and Council Regulation 1308/2013 – the regulation within the CAP that deals with ‘Common Market Organisation’.

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