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de Brún to raise extra support for diary industry with Fischer Boel

24 October, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún along with a number of other Irish MEP's will meet with senior officials from EU Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel's office next week.

The issues Ms de Brún will raise include the nitrates directive and the need for greater support fopr the milk industry given the disastrous drop in farmgate price.

The price at this week's United Dairy Farmers milk auction was 18p per litre, down 7p on last month and significantly lower than the 32.39p per litre last October.

Ms de Brún said:

"The price per litre at this week's milk auction represents a collapse in the farmgate price and will have a devastating impact on local farmers.

"Prices at this level mean that it is costing more to produce the milk than they are able to get at auction. Clearly this is not sustainable.

"I believe that there is a strong case for greater EU support for our dairy farmers and the introduction of Export Refunds. I welcome the immediate response from the Agriculture Minster Michelle Gildernew in pressing Hilary Benn for the reintroduction of export refunds for dairy products, particularly given the dependence of our local dairy sector on dairy commodities.

"It is vital that we all work together to persuade the EU Commission respond positively. I will be raising this issue at next week's meeting with senior officials from Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel's office.

"Along with other Irish MEPs I will also be putting the case for the need for flexibility in terms of deadline for completion of work already started by farmers in respect of Farm Waste Management Schemed should to be built into payment system." ENDS

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