President of the UK National Farmers Union Ben Gill has written to European Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler urging the European Commission to drop a proposal aimed at forcing down EU cereal prices. The Commission's Cereals Management Committee meets on Thursday to consider abolishing a 10 euro import tariff on grain from Eastern Europe and the Baltic. The NFU has strongly criticised the proposal, which has already had the effect of significantly reducing the market price as traders have acted to exploit the Commission's planned action. In a statement Mr Gill stressed that the plans would unfairly penalise British farmers because the strength of the pound against the euro means their prices are much lower than the stronger prices on the Continent, to which the Commission is reacting. Mr Gill said: "Import tariffs are an integral part of the EU market management framework and should not be cut and trimmed mid-season in such an abrupt way. "UK growers are incensed by this further blow to their already beleaguered businesses." NFU Cereals Committee Chairman Richard Butler said, "The effect of this behaviour on the UK cereals market has been absolutely catastrophic. Our currency means our prices were already well below Continental levels. "Now they have been forced down to a point where producers have no possibility of recovering even part of the losses that they will make because of the appallingly low yields achieved this year. In a separate move to help UK cereal growers, the NFU is pushing for the UK Government to apply for the £57 million in agri-money aid available from Europe to compensate for the impact of currency fluctuations on support payments.