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EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan has called on EU Member States to amend the rules related to public intervention in 2018. His remarks were made at the World Dairy Summit held in Belfast on 30th October.

EU Commissioner Hogan stated “We do need the address the issue of the significant SMP stocks accumulated during the crisis years 2015 and 2016. While this public intervention had an undeniable market stabilisation impact, the very existence of those public stocks is weighing on the market. I also believe we must avoid new buying-in under public intervention next year, without due market justification.”

“One option would be to start the next campaign (from 1st March) with buying in through a tender procedure. That means we decide together what volumes should be accepted and at what price. To make that possible, the ceiling for buying-in at fixed price (currently 109 000 tonnes) needs to be set at zero in 2018. This is a Council competence and the idea is currently being examined with Agricultural Ministers.”

“You should not misunderstand what I am putting on the table – intervention will remain available as foreseen by the basic act, but it would be operate it in a controlled manner, on the basis of prevailing market conditions. This would be done through decisions being taken on a monthly basis on bids received from operators from March until the end of September 2018.”

Eamonn Farrell

Agri Food Policy Executive