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Creed Calls for Maximum Flexibility in Dairy Aid Package

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Michael Creed TD, has called for maximum flexibility for member states, including Ireland, to be factored in to the dairy aid package currently being considered by the Commission. Minister Creed was speaking at a meeting of the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg.

I have asked the Commissioner to consider the deployment of a further targeted aid package, similar to that provided last September. This gave considerable flexibility to Member States to adopt responses suited to their national circumstances, and I believe such a measure could play a further important role in 2016. The key word here is flexibility and it would be important not to attach conditionality or complications to such targeted aid” said Minister Creed.

The Minister noted the need for any package to acknowledge the changing currency situation post the UK EU Referendum and the unique trading relationship Ireland has with the UK. The Minister also reiterated that the measures taken to date by the Commission have been extremely welcome, including Intervention. Minister Creed also asked the Commission to progress work on the removal of customs tariffs and anti-dumping duties on the importation of fertilisers.

Minister Creed added “I believe our focus must remain on providing real, practical and immediate assistance for farmers. In addition to intervention, I have called for the deployment of other measures that will provide real benefit for farmers in the short-term including the bringing forward of the delivery date for direct payments. Last year Member States were also able to pay an advance of 70%, and I have again asked the Commission to consider raising this percentage further in 2016.”

Referring to supply control measures the Minister said “that any action we take must not place our farmers at a disadvantage when the market shows signs of recovery

In relation to the pigmeat sector Minister Creed emphasised the need to continue efforts to re-open the Russian market, and to continue to monitor the situation with a view to taking further action if necessary.

Concluding Minister Creed said “I agree that we should continue to look at all means of assisting farmers. But in doing so we should focus on direct and practical measures, and avoid taking any action that would in any way compromise their long-term prospects. Any package of measures must also factor in the changing environment in which we operate.”

View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 65/2016 (pdf 366Kb) 

Date Released: 27 June 2016