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Minister Must Act Now On Milk Prices

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must act immediately to address the growing crisis that exists in the dairy sector. The price of milk paid to farmers is dropping rapidly and the Minister must seek an increase in the price of intervention milk or else new markets will have to be found, or both. This is a world wide crisis and we have seen in recent months many family farms in New Zealand being sold to Chinese speculators as a result of this crisis and we certainly do not want to see that situation happening here. I have been warning about this situation for the past twelve months or more and especially during the by-election campaign. People have borrowed money from the banks on the basis of a price of 28 cent per litre and it looks like the price paid could go below that figure in the near future and that will have severe effects on many farms around the country. If prices continue to fall there will be dire consequences for many family farms around the country. I would like to see the Dail Agriculture Committee recalled to discuss this situation. We have also seen a problem in Denmark in their dairy industry too. It is vital that family farms around this country are protected and we need to act now.