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Carthy welcomes Fertiliser Report and calls for Commissioner to take action

11 March, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has welcomed a report commissioned by the IFA on the increased price of fertiliser and has called on the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, to take action to protect the interests of Irish Farmers on this issue.

Carthy said:

“I would like to welcome the report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, commissioned by the IFA, in relation to the EU fertilizer market.

“The price of fertilizer is an issue of great concern to Irish farmers – the price of fertiliser in western European states has increased by 123% while prices in other countries have fallen by 65%.

“Fertiliser represents the second highest expenditure item after feed and the combination of rising import costs, allied with falling commodity prices has decimated the incomes of farmers.

“The fact that the steep fall in energy prices over the last two years has not been reflected in retail fertiliser prices to farmers is an issue of huge concern and raises questions as to the impact of protectionist measures.

“I am calling for this issue to feature on the Agenda of the meeting of the European Council of Ministers on the 14th March so that consideration can be given to any potential solutions, which may relieve the pressures on Irish farmers.

“I have also submitted a priority question to the Commissioner for Agriculture, who has received this report, to ascertain what consideration he has given to its findings and what action he intends to take on the issue.

“In my view, it is not good enough for the Commission to repeatedly refer potential breaches of competition law back to those who highlight such issues.

“There is a duty on the Commission to act on these concerns and use the resources at its disposal to initiate investigations where there are serious and genuine concerns expressed and the current approach of the Commission abdicates that responsibility.” ENDS

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