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EU emergency farm aid

Published: 14 Mar 2016 17:26

Rural Affairs Secretary welcomes support.

Europe's new package of emergency support for farmers has been welcomed by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

The moves have been announced by Commissioner Hogan in Brussels in response to widespread concern across the EU about the ongoing crisis facing agriculture.

Mr Lochhead said:

"Farmers here in Scotland and across Europe are feeling the pinch from poor market prices. This has to change if we are to safeguard the future of food production and our farming industry.

"I very much welcome today's EU package of support, and the European Commission's recognition of the ongoing and deepening difficulties facing agriculture right across Europe.

"Some of the measures announced today by Commissioner Hogan will provide immediate assistance for hard-pressed Scottish farmers and crofters, such as the raised intervention ceilings for skimmed milk powder and butter which can help stabilise prices at a time when the market is oversupplied.

"Other measures will take longer to deliver benefits for Scottish agriculture, for example the work of the Agricultural Markets Taskforce to look specifically at the dairy sector and the establishment of a meat market observatory which will, over time, help to increase transparency and build supply chain trust.

"We need to see the fine detail but today's package is a step in the right direction, that builds on the Commission's previous aid for dairy farmers as well as the action the Scottish Government is taking to support producers at this difficult time."

Notes to editors

Details of the EU package can be found here http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-806_en.htm