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Dairy farmers need greater assistance in midst of pricing crisis – Ferris

29 January, 2016 - by Martin Ferris TD

Martin Ferris TD, Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson, has said today that dairy farmers are in crisis because of low prices in the sector.

The Kerry TD said:

“I am hearing from farmers up and down the country that they are getting 25 cent a litre and it is costing them 30 cent to produce a litre. Many farmers, strongly advised by the Department and Teagasc, invested heavily when the end of quota was coming.

“They find themselves in trouble now with their lenders and are horrified by predictions, as late as last night from the Kerry Group general manager, that there is no price increase on the horizon. Coupled with working 7 days a week and putting in long hours, this cannot continue. The problem is further magnified by the fact that all dairy farmers are in the same position and therefore it is impossible to sell animals to ease the losses as no farmer wants to buy at this time.

“It is time for Phil Hogan in Brussels to stand up and look for an increase in intervention price and for Simon Coveney to stand up to the big multiples and seek a fair price to get farmers through this difficult time. In Britain, I see some supermarkets selling chilled milk for a few pence more and passing that onto the farmer.

“I also see my colleague in the North, Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA, working with farmers to put pressure on banks and other lenders to be sympathetic and flexible. We need government action on this crisis because it is not going to resolve itself and farmers cannot be allowed to go under for lack of support.” 

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