Diane Dodds MEP Non-attached Member of the European Parliament
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Measures to alleviate the crisis in the European agriculture sector
12-04-16
Mr President, in Northern Ireland, farm incomes have been under pressure for some time. In the dairy sector this has been very extreme, with farmers receiving prices below the cost of production over many months. The aid package has only been of limited immediate help. The emphasis on new markets and new financial instruments is welcome but brings no immediate relief.

The current deal on the table with the Mercosur bloc will have a devastating impact on the beef sector in particular. It is unfortunate that a study on the cumulative effects of the trade agreements will not be complete until September. However, previous impact assessments carried out by Copa find that benefits to agriculture would be one-sided and that EU farmers would suffer a disrupted internal market and greater price volatility. Another predicted a 3% fall in farm income for Britain and producer prices falling by nearly 8%. In light of the UK referendum debate, many farmers are telling me that they think little has been done to help agriculture and that it is time to take back control.

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