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Coveney Delivers Substantial Aid Package for Irish Farmers
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed the package of measures put together by the EU Commission to address difficulties in the dairy and pigmeat sectors.
Speaking after the informal meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg, the Minister said “The Package reflects the majority of the demands presented by Ireland to the Commission in our six point plan. In particular, the increase of more than 100% in the rate of private storage aid for skimmed milk powder is a very significant announcement. Together with the longer storage period now provided for, this will have a real impact on the market. The reintroduction of private storage aid for cheese and pigmeat and the improved aid rates and conditions will also help to bring the markets back into balance.”
The Minister welcomed the award of almost €14 million in direct aid to Ireland and the maximum flexibility announced by the Commission in the use of these funds. “We will now consider with our stakeholders how best to utilise these funds to support Irish farmers” the Minister said.
The Minister went on to welcome the concession made by the Commission to allow advance payments of 70% under the direct payments scheme and 85% for rural development schemes before completion of controls. “This will be of major benefit in easing the cash flow of farmers” the Minister said.
The Minister concluded “Today’s package is a good set of measures and we must now move quickly to finalise it. It is also crucial that we continue to keep the situation under review and to deploy other available market measures, if necessary, including a temporary top-up in intervention prices.”