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Producers Must Work Together for Future Success

12 April 2012

NETHERLANDS - In March the Dutch Dairymen Board (DBB) organised a symposium "Stronger Together". The symposium gave the members a rare opportunity to discuss topical issues with dairy co-operatives, dairy industry managers, the marketing board, scientists and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture.

Both the Deputy President of the marketing board for dairy products, Mr Kees Wantenaar, and the General Secretary of the European Dairy Association (EDA), Mr Joop Kleibeuker, expressed positive opinions on the future prospects of the dairy sector.

Growing demand for milk is exceeding supply due to a rise in the prosperity of the world population, which means the future is bright, they said.

The DBB agreed that future prospects were good, however there were still concerns that producers were not receiving there fair share of profits.

"Whilst the Dutch dairy industry has grown in recent years , in performance, production and size, the financial situation has done the opposite," Sieta van Keimpema (President of the DDB and Vice-President of the EMB) said.

She said that over the last 10 years farmgate prices have not covered costs of production, and Dutch milk producers debt has more than doubled, with returns on equity falling.

Mr Poppe from the Agricultural Institute of the University of Wageningen said the the price of milk can only rise over the next few years.

Ms Greetje van Heezik, a specialist in competition law said that the opportunities for milk producers to benefit from these milk price increases would increase through the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the European Milk Package.

During the lively discussion one participant voiced the opinion that the biggest enemies of the milk producer, was in fact sitting in the same room as them (referring to processors/ retailers). Contrary to that another member pointed out that the biggest enemy of the milk producers was actually the milk producer who stayed at home, instead of attending the symposium. Ms van Keimpema said that milk producers must commit themselves to the future of milk production if they want to stand a chance at being successful.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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