East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said that Northern Ireland’s dairy industry needs support aid from the EU.
The DUP MP said that local dairy farmers have seen their incomes drop by over a third in the last year. He added that this has resulted in farmers producing milk which is being sold on below cost.
“The downturn in milk price has a greater impact on our farmers here in Northern Ireland compared to GB milk producers, because we export 80 percent of the milk we produce compared, “ said the MP.
“This has also impacted more with Northern Ireland producers because of the currency differential between sterling and the Euro.
“The fall in income for our dairy farmers is also having a knock on effects within the supply chain with an increase in the level of debt to feed suppliers with many of these feed suppliers being small family firms.
“In the short term, the European Commission could raise the intervention price of milk.
“My Ministerial Colleague, Arlene Foster, has brought to the attention of the Prime Minister the need for a support package in place for the dairy industry and my Colleague Diane Dodds MEP along with Dairy Representatives met EU Commissioner Hogan to call for immediate measures to deal with the crisis facing our dairy farmers.
“In the long term we require measures which will deal with structural reform both of the industry and the supply chain. It is also important that the Government puts pressure on retailers to purchase UK dairy products.”