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Calheta ,  February 14, 2020

Regional Government will not resign from its responsibilities if there are negative impacts on the sale of São Jorge cheese in the USA, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated today that the Regional Government will not resign from its responsibilities if the USA does not back down in the decision to increase customs duties on European dairy products and if there is no adequate response from the European Union to offset the impacts that may occur in cooperatives and producers. 

“If this increase in customs duties imposed by the USA is not changed and influences the sales volume of São Jorge cheese in that country, coupled with the lack of adequate EU support measures, the Regional Government will not resign from the responsibilities and will create a contingency plan to mitigate any negative impacts that may arise on dairy cooperatives," stressed João Ponte. The government official spoke on the sidelines of the visit by the members of the Regional Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development to FINISTERRA – Topo Dairy Cooperative. 

Speaking to journalists, João Ponte said the Regional Government continues to believe that it will be possible, through diplomatic channels, to exempt São Jorge cheese from this increase in customs fees. 

"It does not make any sense for São Jorge cheese to be involved in a fight that has nothing to do with the dairy sector," noted the government official. 

The Regional and National Governments have carried out several initiatives, at different levels of influence, either to reverse a unilateral decision taken by the US arising from struggles in the aviation sector or to create, within the European Union, measures to offset the losses resulting from this decision.
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry also highlighted the financial recovery efforts that São Jorge's cooperative sector has been undertaking and the focus on the quality of the cheese produced. 

“On an island where cheese is the driving force of the economy, creates jobs, generates wealth and is a brand image, the financial recovery that the cooperative sector has been undertaking is essential to ensure the sustainability of milk production on São Jorge Island,” said João Ponte.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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