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Irish food needs help over sanctions

Monday, August 25 11:23:52

EU policy on Ukraine and Russia has hurt food producers and processors in Ireland, who are being forced to bear the cost of it, according to Bertie O'Leary, President of ICOS, the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society.

Mr O'Leary said he has been lobbying the European Commission to look at all possible tools available to underpin the EU dairy market.

He welcomed the fact that Dairy is now finally going to be focused on at a meeting in Brussels this Thursday.

Mr O'Leary repeated earlier ICOS calls for the Commission to immediately commit to the opening of maximum Private Storage Aid options, as provided for in the new Single Common Market Organisation, to add stability to the market.

He also called for an increase in all avenues of support to help EU dairy companies to gain access to alternative markets around the world.

He also called for the EU not to use the 'Crisis Reserve' as this is EU agriculture's own money in direct payments and will be taken off farmers. The EU must support the consequences of their own political decisions from elsewhere in the budget.

Current superlevy fines taken by the Commission for the 2013/14 quota year should be immediately ring fenced and used specifically to help the current dairy situation, he said.

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