Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called on the Minster for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to conduct a review of intervention prices for milk.
The Meath East TD said “I am urging the Minister to seriously consider undertaking a review of the intervention prices for milk with a view to stabilising our milk markets. A review of this kind has not taken place for some 7 years and we are now living in a very different world.
“Milk is produced at approximately 25 cent per litre and has a current base price in the market of only 26 cent per litre, down from 39 cent this time last year.
“The price of milk has reduced some 29% since this time last year. To the ‘layperson’ this may not seem terribly extreme but the reality is that our milk farmers earn their living from the sale of their milk after the cost of production. This has resulted in a 78 – 80% reduction in farmers' income, which is simply not good enough.
“Today (Friday), I am urging the Minister for Agriculture to consider a review of intervention prices for milk. Currently the intervention price sits at 21 cent per litre and buyers are sitting just above this to avoid intervention. Stock is readily shifting, but at a price far too low for farmers to have gainful employment in this sector.
“I understand that the IFA, and their representatives in Europe, are making similar calls to the Minister for the intervention price of milk to be increased to 25 cent per litre which would ensure stability in our milk markets."
Concluding, Doherty said “an intervention price of 21 cent per litre may have been appropriate 7 years ago, but today our farmers are coming under serious financial pressures. An increase in the intervention price would incentivise markets to purchase at a higher price and may well ensure that our milk market here in Ireland does not come to a grinding descent.”