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Fine Gael MEPS have done a huge disservice to farmers by voting for EU report - Carthy

14 December, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has harshly criticised a report adopted by the European Parliament this morning which would, if enacted, see farmers being further put at the mercy of private financial institutions in times of crisis. Speaking during the plenary debate, Carthy said:

“Less than a month ago we saw the publication of the Agricultural Markets Task Force Report on Enhancing the Position of Farmers in the Supply Chain. That report cited farmers as the main shock absorbers in volatile markets.  Now, before this Parliament, is a report which denies exactly that.

“The control by corporate market forces over agricultural prices is main source of volatility, yet this report would see the problem being the solution.

"Mutual funds, private insurance schemes and increased competitiveness on third markets are all cited as “tools” to stabilise farming incomes and reduce farm debt. All the while the negotiating power for producers, not farmers, in the food supply chain is given as a solution.

“Farmers, who are price takers not price makers, stand to be swallowed up by a system that pushes private institutions to deal with the agricultural crisis.”

Speaking after the vote, Carthy said:

“MEPs who voted in favour of this report, including Fine Gael, have done a huge disservice to farmers and communities that depend on them, by supporting this report. Instead of putting money into the pockets of insurance companies and mutual funds, we should be adopting income averaging schemes, establishing minimum prices that cover the costs of production and rewarding work that farmers do.”

“Putting farmers at the centre of tools to reduce volatility is an absolute priority”.

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