Last week the Commission proposed at the July AGRIFISH Council meeting a further aid package for farmers worth €500 million of EU money (and up to €850 million if Member States take up the opportunity to add national financing). This brings the total additional EU financing to support farmers since 2014 to €1.5 billion. The money for the latest package comes from unspent funds in the CAP budget and does not involve making use of the crisis reserve. In his address to COMAGRI outlining the package the following day Commissioner Hogan thanked President Juncker and the budget Commissioner Vice-President Georgieva for their support in making the package possible.
Over on the ARC2020 website, they are having a debate on the #MilkCrisis to which I was asked to contribute. Below is my contribution to that debate.
“The weighted average milk price for the EU-28 in May was 26.6 c/litre, a price last seen during the last trough in the price cycle in 2009 when the milk price bottomed out at 24.39 c/litre. The reasons for the current downturn are well known.
Global dairy product prices reached record levels in 2014. EU milk prices reached a record high of 40.2 c/litre in the winter of 2013/2014, averaging 37.3 c/litre over the 12 months in 2014.
Yesterday, the Agriculture Council agreed on a package of 13 measures to bring relief to agricultural markets in difficulty. Most attention has focused on the Commission’s willingness to invoke Article 222 of the CMO Regulation to permit producer organisations and recognised interbranch organisations in the dairy sector to introduce voluntary measures to reduce milk supplies, financed by member state funds. This attention is due more to the unusual nature of the measure rather than an assessment of its likely effectiveness.
The measure was put forward by Commissioner Hogan in his address to the Council. The agreement is summarised here in the Presidency Council conclusions and here in this DG AGRI press release following the meeting.