Another E500 Million Package for Farm Income Crisis

“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.

From left to right: Mr Phil HOGAN, Member of the European Commission; Ms Gabriela MATECNA, Slovak Minister for Agriculture. Credit: "The European Union"
From left to right: Mr Phil HOGAN, Member of the European Commission; Ms Gabriela MATECNA, Slovak Minister for Agriculture. Credit: “The European Union”

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.


See our current farm income and milk crisis debate, in particular Aurelie Trouve’s critique of voluntary measures.


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

Member State EUR
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
Cyprus 297 165
Latvia 9 760 362
Lithuania 13 298 661
Luxembourg 560 115
Hungary 9 543 566
Malta 100 092
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