West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

McDermott welcomes £5.1m for dairy crisis

Published: 1 October, 2015

Sinn Féin's Grace McDermott has welcomed the targeted aid package totalling £5.1 million which was secured by Sinn Féin DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill and which will be allocated to dairy farmers in the coming weeks. This package includes an additional top-up from the European Commission following recent discussions between Minister Michelle O'Neill and the European Commission.

Speaking after Minister Michelle O'Neill made the announcement Grace McDermott said,

"I commend our Minister for the very strong case which she made on behalf of local dairy farmers during recent meetings with DEFRA and the European Commission. While we all would have liked to have seen the Commission offering a larger and more comprehensive package, Minister O'Neill has ensured recognition of the unique challenges which our local dairy industry has faced over the past year as prices have dropped by 39%.

"Sinn Féin recognises that all sectors are currently struggling with difficult market conditions and price volatility. I therefore welcome the Minister's intent to tackle head-on communication and labelling difficulties within the supply chain with the inaugural meeting of the supply chain forum in the coming weeks as well as the Minister's commitment to making maximum basic payments to farmers by December.

"Sinn Féin will continue to work with all farming sectors to ensure that they receive a fair return for their produce as well as lobbying the European Commission for a fresh review of intervention prices.

"This funding is evidence of a working Minister at her desk. It is evidence of a strong local voice at the European table representing interests and concerns of the farming community in the north."