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Minister Smith raises the Milk Situation at EU Agriculture Council in Luxemburg

The Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD, raised the milk market situation at the EU Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg.  He outlined the difficult situation facing milk producers as a result of low returns from the market and requested strong and continued support from the Commission using all appropriate market management measures available.

The Ministers position was strongly supported by at least ten other Member States which he said was very welcome.  There was very strong support for his request that intervention and export refunds be fully exploited to support the market and that other measures be kept under active review on an ongoing basis.

The Council also committed itself to continuing the process of the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy and the reduction of bureaucracy. The discussion on this issue at the Council centered on a paper submitted from a group of countries including Ireland setting out a range of simplification proposals.  These will be subject to further discussions in the coming months.

Date Released: 24 April 2009