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The Copa-Cogeca Working Party on Milk and Dairy Products met in Brussels on 19th November.

The Working Party is chaired by French dairy farmer Thierry Roquefeuil, representing FNSEA and includes co-operative and farming representative bodies from 28 EU Member States. Jerry Long, ICOS Dairy Committee Chairman and Eamonn Farrell, Secretary of the Dairy Committee attended on behalf of ICOS.

The meeting discussed the new proposals on the Common Agricultural Policy. The legislative process is underway in the EU with the European Parliament currently examining the Commission proposals. The expectation is that the number of amendments tabled by MEPs could be in the 1000’s. The legislative process will be complicated further by European Parliament elections in May 2019. Therefore, it could be Q3/4 2019 before the European Parliament formulates a concrete position to then negotiate with the Council of Ministers.

ICOS priorities from a dairy industry perspective will be focused on the Common Markets Organisation Regulation, and scrutinizing amendments tabled by the European Parliament. Another core priority will be development of workable and beneficial environmental measures for dairy farmers in the context of new national CAP strategic plans. The budgetary framework is overshadowing the CAP process, with a possible 5-15% cut in CAP funding on the cards. The new budget will be finalised by mid-2019.

The meeting also discussed unfair trading practices legislation, Brexit, the impact of new plastics legislation, SMP intervention and EU trade negotiations with third countries including New Zealand and Australia.

Eamonn Farrell

Agri Food Policy Executive