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Farm gate prices putting livelihoods at risk - Anderson

9 April, 2015 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said falling farm gate prices are putting the livelihoods of family farms at risk. 

Speaking after meeting members of the Action for Farmers group, Ms Anderson said; 

"Farm gate prices are a major concern to farmers across the North with the price they are receiving for produce falling below the cost of production. 

"This is an issue that is concerning farmers from all sectors, particularly dairy, and I met with William Taylor and Sean McCauley from Action for Farmers to discuss these concerns. 

"They made constructive suggestions about linking prices to the minimum cost of production and I will bring those proposals forward to Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill for consideration. 

"We will also be exploring whether the minister has the legislative competency to deal with this and, if not, we will be calling for the power to be transferred to the Assembly. 

"The minister will also be meeting with her southern counterpart, Simon Coveney, and will be raising it at the British-Irish Council meeting to see how farm gate prices have been addressed in Scotland and Wales. 

"Falling prices which do not cover the cost of production are hitting family farms particularly badly and could threaten the livelihoods of small family farmers. 

"Sinn Féin will be undertaking a programme of action and I will be working closely with my fellow MEP Matt Carthy and agriculture spokesperson Martin Ferris TD to support farmers to get a fair deal." 

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