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Future sustainability of the family farm at risk

7 September, 2015 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin's Agriculture Spokesperson in the Assembly Oliver McMullan has said that the future sustainability of the family farm is dependent on a positive outcome at the Special Agriculture Council meeting which is taking place today in Brussels.

 Speaking ahead of the meeting, which will be attended by Minister Michelle O'Neill, Mr McMullan said,

 "In recent times farmers are being exposed to an increasingly volatile global commodity market. The decline in pricing is putting at risk the livelihoods of many farmers and I believe that we have now reached a critical juncture for the future of the family farm. 

"There is an acceptance that the food supply chain here isn't working with many of our primary producers feeling exploited, being forced to accept returns for their produce which falls well short of the cost of production.

 "Now is the time for action and it's imperative that the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan provides the necessary boost to reinject cash flow into the market and to ensure that farmers receive a fair and equitable return.

 “I will be awaiting with interest the outcome of today's meeting where our Minister Michelle O'Neill will appeal for an increase in the intervention rate for dairy produce to help stabilise and reinsert confidence into the market.”

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