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Could a global price index help farmers' plight?

Published 10/08/2015

As someone who drinks a large quantity of milk each week, I have considerable sympathy for the plight of dairy farmers (News, July 31) who receive as little as 19p a litre.

While the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Michelle O'Neill, also exhibits sympathy (DebateNI, August 6) for the farmers' plight, her department offers little practical, or immediate, help.

I notice German farmers are complaining that they receive as little as 51 cents per litre (£0.36), which is far more than farmers here say they receive.

Would one solution to the current crisis be for DARD to collate and publish an EU, or global, price index (wholesale and retail) for milk and other produce to help farmers here source the best possible price for their produce - and perhaps look at ways to reduce the cost of shipping these products around the EU, for example grants or subsidies for exports?

BERNARD J MULHOLLAND

Belfast

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