04 September 2009

Irish Dairy Farmers staged a "Milking Protest" at Government Buildings in Dublin

About 100 members of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) have protested outside Government Buildings in Dublin this afternoon over the price they are being paid for their milk.

The dairy farmers used mobile equipment to milk five cows in front of the Taoiseach's office to highlight their difficulties.

ICMSA leader Jackie Cahill said "it is not possible to exaggerate the crisis in the Irish dairy industry" and that there seems to be "a denial of the facts at government level".

Brendan Smith, TD stated that he is "aware of the difficulties". And one would indeed hope so, as he is after all the current Minister for Agriculture.

He said that for many months he has been "demanding special measures at European level, including intervention storage and export refunds", and that he "will be seeking further help next week in Brussels".

But as nice as this might sound, it is just lip-service and no help for the Irish dairy farmers.

What the Irish farmers need is a fair price for their products. And this is not decided by EU officials in Brussels, but by the buyers of the supermarket chains in Ireland. They are the ones who have squeezed the farmers over years and pushed down the prices they pay them for milk At the same time there is no reduction of the prices that Irish consumers have to pay for milk in supermarkets and other shops. The difference is pocketed by the retailers, and if the farmers are seeking a solution for their problem, then they should address it to the right people.

The Emerald Islander

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