Survey of Flemish Milk Production Underway11 May 2012
BELGIUM - This April the Flemish Ministry of Agriculture conducted a survey among dairy farmers and milk processors with the aim of developing strategies for the future configuration of the dairy market based on the results. More than 70 per cent of the Flemish dairy farmers were sent the survey.
The independent study was drawn up in collaboration with agricultural associations and milk processing organisations. To gain a realistic picture of the situation of dairy farmers in Flanders, farmers no longer expanding their farm or who had even given up farming were also asked to take part in the study. The survey results are to be published after the summer.
The study focused mainly on any problems arising in the planned increase in production due to the availability of additional land, labour and capital, as well as admissible nutrient emissions. For a long time now there has been stringent legislation on fertiliser in Flanders and stiff competition for land with other sectors of the economy, making it by and large difficult to increase production. The Flemish dairy farmers were also asked about the impact of derogations for the dairy sector. The answers received should enable conclusions to be drawn about the relationship with milk processors, the system of contracting, the producer organisations and pricing.
With regard to the European Milk Board’s demand for a fair regulation of dairy markets in Europe it is particularly important that the dairy farmers could also state in the survey that they were generally not in agreement with the abolition of the milk quotas. So it remains to be seen what the results are on this issue and to what extent they will have an influence on political decisions taken by the Flemish and Belgian authorities or perhaps on decisions taken on an EU level as well.
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