EU ready to roll out €500m aid package

EU farm ministers are meeting in Luxembourg today to finalise how €500m will be allocated to European pig and dairy sectors.

Some countries will be arguing that the scale of the price drop in each country be used to determine how the aid should be distributed. However, with price supports from Irish dairy co-ops dampening some of the price falls here, Irish officials are stressing the €69m in superlevy fines that Irish farmers incurred this spring would be a better measure of the income pressure in the sector.

Helping their case is the fact that the fund has been created out of the €800m in superlevy fines collected this year.

Early estimates suggest that Irish farmers may be in line for €10-20m, but how this will be paid to farmers is still unclear. ICOS is arguing that EU monies should be matched by funding from the co-ops and the state to create low-cost loans for farmers struggling with cash-flow.

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