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Smith Remains Firm on Support for the Dairy Industry

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD, today at the European Council of Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg reiterated his view "that the European Commission must continue to support the milk market effectively, and that further support for the Dairy Industry is absolutely essential and urgently needed".

In particular he pressed once again that the European Commission should:

  • remove the "free at frontier" price for cheese that is blocking the use of export refunds for certain cheeses. This is a self-imposed technical impediment not warranted in the current circumstances.
  • extend intervention purchases of butter and skimmed milk powder beyond the end of August. 
  • extend closing dates for private storage aid.

While the Minister expressed his appreciation of the Commission's efforts to stabilise the situation and stimulate the market to date, he added "it is vital that these efforts continue, and where possible are intensified.  We need to take strong action to reverse the downturn and stimulate the market".

Date Released: 22 June 2009