Sinn Féin MEP and member of the European Parliament Agriculture & Rural Development committee, Matt Carthy, has called on the commission to introduce strengthened supports for Dairy farmers who are dealing with increased price volatility in their sector.
Mr. Carthy was speaking as Parliament voted on the Nicolson own initiative report into prospects for the Dairy sector on which he acted as shadow rapporteur.
Speaking after the debate the Sinn Féin representative said:
"Much of the positive predications of what the post-quota era would mean for Milk farmers have abated in recent times. It is clear that many in the Dairy sector are finding the increasing price volatility difficult to manage and if action is not taken many small farmers will be forced out of the sector. They need more than platitudes from the European Commission.
"While I commend Jim Nicolson for his work on the report being debated this week I would have preferred if the report was more adventurous in its proposals in terms of supports to farmers affected by extreme price volatility.
"Farmers deserve a fair price for their produce and an ongoing situation whereby milk is often a loss-making product is unsustainable. There are ways in which the commission can and should be more proactive in offering support. For example an intervention price can be a strong tool to balance a market but the intervention price has to reflect the cost of production.
"Sinn Féin voted against the report because we want to see real action that will allow our Dairy sector to flourish in coming years and we want to see smaller family farms supported during turbulent times. The report fell short in this regard.
"In coming months I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Agriculture and Rural Development committee in pressing the commission to act in a substantial manner so that our Dairy sector can reach its full potential".