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European Commissioner of Agriculture, Phil Hogan, met last Thursday, 12th April, with European representatives of the dairy industry to discuss ways to dispose of SMP stocks without causing disruption to the market. Hogan warned the representatives from Cogeca (European Agri-cooperatives), EDA (European Dairy Processors) and Eucolait (European Dairy Traders) that the industry must follow market signals and could not continue to produce SMP if there was no market.

Calls for the stocks be used for animal feed or supplied to those in need of food aid were opposed by the Commissioner, who argued that the “rules of the game should not be changed in the middle of the match”. He stated that the product had to be sold back onto the market via a tendering procedure as said from day one, and that the Commission would not sell “at any price” but rather would take advantage of increasing butter prices and acceptable raw milk prices to recuperate expenses.

By Alison Graham

European Affairs Executive