“In response to the continued market downturn, and to the concerns strongly relayed by ministers, the Commission put forward a third package of support measures worth €500 million addressed mainly at the dairy sector, but also at the livestock sector. These measures are aimed at tackling the crisis by stabilising production and indirectly prices, and providing liquidity to farmers.” This is the main outcome of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on Monday. See below for all seven measures in the package, the breakdown per Member State, and information on a critique of voluntary packages.
The Council adds: “€150 million will be distributed through an EU-wide measure to those farmers who voluntarily decide to reduce their dairy deliveries, thereby helping the market restore the balance between demand and supply. Moreover, €350 million will be rapidly made available through national financial envelopes to help producers face cash-flow problems. This aid will be conditional on the respect of certain commitments. Specific attention will be dedicated to small farmers. Member states will have maximum flexibility in the use of these funds to support vulnerable livestock sectors, and also be able to provide national top-ups up to 100%.”
The measures were presented to the Council of EU Agriculture Ministers by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, who added: “Coming at a time of significant budgetary pressures, this package provides a further robust response, and means that the Commission has mobilised more than €1 billion in new money to support hard-pressed farmers. Our ultimate goal is to see the much needed recovery of prices paid to farmers, so that they may make a living from their work and continue to provide safe, high quality food for citizens, as well as their contribution to rural areas and rural jobs and the provision of public goods.“
July 2016: 7-point Solidarity Package for agriculture
1. Milk production reduction scheme
EUR 150 million to support a voluntary reduction of EU milk deliveries. This scheme will operate at EU level so that farmers across the Union have access to it under the same conditions.
2. Conditional adjustment aid
EUR 350 million to be implemented by measures at Member State level (see below for amounts per Member State). MS may top –up the aid by 100%.
3. Voluntary Coupled Support
Member States are given the possibility to review their Voluntary Coupled Support (VCS) arrangements for the dairy sector to provide that the payment is decoupled in 2017.
4. Extension of public intervention for skimmed milk powder (SMP) beyond 30 September
Public intervention for SMP to be extended until end of February 2017, when the standard period resumes. The ceiling up to which SMP is bought-in at fixed price stays at 350 000 t until the end of December 2016.
5. Extension of the private storage aid schemes for SMP
Both the standard (between 90 and 210 days storage) and the enhanced (365 day storage) SMP schemes to be extended until the end of February 2017.
6. Advance payments
Advances to 70% for direct payments from 16 October 2016 and 85% for area-based rural development payments, after finalisation of the administrative checks.
7. Fruits and vegetables
Support updated for withdrawals made by producer organisations in the fruit and vegetables sector.
Conditional adjustment aid for milk and other livestock sectors – breakdown per Member State
|Belgium||10 979 636|
|Bulgaria||5 809 941|
|Czech Republic||10 346 106|
|Denmark||9 294 305|
|Germany||57 955 101|
|Estonia||8 081 123|
|Ireland||11 086 327|
|Greece||1 683 910|
|Spain||14 665 678|
|France||49 900 853|
|Croatia||1 517 133|
|Italy||20 942 300|
|Latvia||9 760 362|
|Lithuania||13 298 661|
|Hungary||9 543 566|
|Netherlands||22 952 419|
|Austria||5 863 491|
|Poland||22 670 129|
|Portugal||3 988 059|
|Romania||10 896 083|
|Slovenia||1 145 506|
|Slovakia||2 062 803|
|Finland||7 521 715|
|Sweden||6 881 425|
|United Kingdom||30 195 996|