Following today's emergency meeting on the agricultural crisis, Alyn Smith, member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, has warned that the proposed measures fail to deal with the root cause of the current dairy sector problems.
"Many, many questions remain. Although the Commission is presenting the measures as 'comprehensive', €500 million across the entire EU will not go far unless it is specifically targeted to investments with the potential to exact real, wholesale change in the sector. We do not know if this €500 million is entirely new money for new programmes, or if it is reserved purely for 'targeted aid'.
"It is a mistake to place so much faith on measures like promotion programmes which simply result in dumping surplus production on markets with contracting demand, like China. This will do nothing to rectify the supply-demand imbalance but just undercuts producers in developing countries. We don't need to encourage additional production when the world market is already oversupplied. The time for sticking plaster remedies has passed.
"There is no mention at all of measures to help manage the supply of milk production – so nothing to deal with the root of the problem. The measures on the supply chain are simply not good enough – we don't need yet another High Level Group to tell us what we already know – we need legislative proposals to eliminate unfair trading practices and to redress the imbalance of power in the supply chain."
For the European Commission press release, see http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5599_en.htm