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Joint approach needed to resolve dairy crisis

11 August, 2015 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that the current crisis faced by the dairy industry can only be resolved with the political commitment from Westminster and Europe.

 Mr McMullan said,

 “I welcome the meeting today between Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss.

 “The current crisis facing dairy farmers cannot be resolved in the North alone as many factors causing the problems are outside our influence.

 “The current weakness in the euro against the sterling, abolishment of European milk quotas, the embargo by Russia are some of the factors impacting on the return price being paid to our farmers due to the oversupply of milk on the global market. 

 “The meeting today allowed for a more strategic approach in tackling these problems bringing together a more political lobby advocating a review of the European intervention price which can ultimately begin to make dairy farming profitable again.

 “Sinn Féin has always said that farmers deserve a fair and equitable price for their produce. We therefore support farmers in their demands, however it is important that the current protests which are taking place maintain peaceful and within the law. 

 "It is also imperative that there is more communication between all elements of the supply chain and I support the Minister in the approach she is taking to bring this about.

 “I hope that the further meeting being proposed next week will begin to bring solutions to the current problems allowing dairy farmers to concentrate in making their farms viable again.”

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