Icelandic cow farmers intend to ask the government for a higher export tax legislation regarding dairy products to Europe should the import tax on cheese be eliminated. The chairman of the Association of Icelandic Dairy and Beef Cattle Farmers, Sigurður Loftsson, warns that unilateral changes to the system will damage domestic agricultural production, rúv.is reports.
According to Sigurður, should the government comply with retailer Hagar’s request to abolish import tax on specialty cheese, farmers will have no choice but to request increased authorization for dairy product export. The possibility of raising export taxes has been explored.
“We believe that this should be handled in a similar manner to everywhere else. If the government intends to make changes or tax cuts in this manner, it should be made with mutual agreements clearing our path towards foreign markets,” Sigurður said.
“The export tariff system is intended to protect domestic production and secure its existence,” Sigurður pointed out. “Every unilateral alteration can damage the chances and the status of domestic agricultural production; in this case the dairy producer. The conditions of producers must be safeguarded.”