Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP for the Midlands and Vice-President of the European Parliament, will be speaking at the Tullamore Show on Sunday where she will say that the current difficulties in agriculture have to be tackled urgently “so that they do not put at risk the recovery which is still fragile in rural Ireland in particular.”
“Agriculture and food are vital to drive the recovery in rural Ireland, “ she said.
She says there is growing concern across the EU about commodity prices. “While the focus in Ireland is on the dairy market, across the EU there is concern about falling prices for fruit and veg, pork, beef and dairy.
“The situation has escalated amid concerns about farm viability.
“It’s imperative that these issues are addressed at EU level. The Russian embargo, uncertainty in the Chinese market, trends in global agriculture all impact on EU farmers and this needs to be acknowledged as a first step.
“Commodity price volatility is a reality but the tools to deal with it at farm level are lacking.
“When prices collapse, farm incomes take a hammering,” she warned.
Ms McGuinness has written to the Chair of the Agriculture Committee Czesław Adam Siekierski on the issue urging him to convene a special meeting of the committee at the earliest opportunity.