Farmers can't carry Russia trade war costs - O'Leary
ICOS has warned that Europe's farmers and food processors cannot be expected to carry the cost of the trade war that has erupted between the EU and Russia.
ICOS president Bertie O'Leary said given the political stance taken by the EU in pushing for a trade deal with Ukraine and in their subsequent backing for sanctions against Russia, Brussels officials would have to look at all the possible tools available to underpin the EU dairy market.
The co-op representative called on the EU Commission to immediately commit to the opening of maximum private storage aid options. Further actions being sought by ICOS include:
1. The increasing of all avenues of support to help EU dairy companies to gain access to alternative markets around the world;
2. The introduction of fat correction factors on delivered milk;
3. That the EU does not 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;
4. 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;
5. A careful economic analysis is required as to the merits of re-introducing export refunds, to see can they help alleviate the current situation, and assist in the orderly disposal of mounting EU cheese stocks from the marketplace.