Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dairy Farmers Welcome EU Help

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dairy Farmers Welcome EU Help

Article excerpt

Byline: DAIRY TOM KEIGHLEY tom.keighley@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE European Commission has stepped in to help North East dairy producers affected by Russia's import ban on EU food.

The commission opened "private storage aid" for producers of butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP) and certain cheeses, who may be negatively impacted by the Russian measures.

Senior members of the National Farmers' Union (NFU)w suggest the restrictions do not pose an immediate risk to North East dairy producers, although knock-on pricing issues could impact the region.

The commission will provide private storage aid for butter and SMP to cover the daily costs of storing these products for three to seven months. A draft implementing Act will be presented to the committee next week for a formal vote.

EU Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolo explained: "Price signals on the European dairy market show that the Russian ban is starting to hit this sector. In a number of member states export earnings are being lost and new outlets need to be found.

"The European dairy sector needs time and help to adapt so I am announcing today targeted market support, focusing on milk powder, butter and exported cheeses. If needed, further measures will follow. "In the coming days I will also present to member states and the European Parliament a first full analysis of the short and medium-term impact of this Russian ban on all major European agri-food sectors, together with an overview of the policy options.

"Again, my message to EU producers today is clear: Where material risks of market destabilisation appear, I will continue to use the new CAP to act pre-emptively to stabilise the market."

A statement issued by the NFU read: "Today's announcement of emergency measures for the dairy industry by the European Commission is welcomed by the NFU. EU dairy wholesale prices have decreased due to excess supply and limited trading since the Russian trade ban and it is important that action is taken to protect the EU and UK markets. …

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