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Copa-Cogeca Outlines Dairy Priorities

11 July 2012

EU - Copa-Cogeca has elected Mansel Raymond from the UK as new Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Working Party on Milk and Dairy Products. He will look at ways to improve the difficult market situation and deal with major challenges such as the extreme market volatility, rising production costs and ensure that there is a competitive dairy sector under the future CAP.

Mr Raymond is currently Chairman of the National Farmers’ Union National Dairy Board. He also has a mixed farm, running 620 dairy cows, beef, sheep, combinable crops and potatoes near Letterston, Pembrokeshire. He has played an active role within milk processing.

In addition, Copa-Cogeca elected Mr Sami Antero Kilpelainen from Finland as Vice-President of the Working Party. He studied agricultural economics and comes from the Finnish Farmers and Forestry Union MTK and the Finish Dairy Co-operative. Mr Tommaso Mario Abrate from Italy was also elected as Vice-Chairman of the Working Party. He is currently National President of the dairy sector for the Italian Agri-Cooperative Organisation Confcooperative and has his own dairy cooperative which unites over 300 producers.

Mr Raymond declared: “Milk producers help to ensure food security and maintain employment in rural areas, but they are facing a difficult market situation, with reductions in milk prices which are not always driven by consumption changes. In view of the high production costs, which in some countries exceed the price producers receive for their milk, further price drops are driving the sector to a similar situation to that seen in 2009, but for a different reason.

"Milk producers have not even been able to recover financially from the crisis that took place in 2009. The recent cuts in milk farm gate prices as seen in the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and several other countries are unacceptable and cannot be justified. Milk producers consequently oppose any more cuts in milk prices and call for urgent price increases in order to ensure security of supply.”

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: “Furthermore, in this difficult economical situation, we are calling for a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform which will not cause a production cost increase by putting pressure on EU feed production. We also want the EU intervention price for butter and skimmed milk powder to be updated to take account of the higher production costs farmers face. Private storage should also remain compulsory to apply, not voluntary."

Since the beginning of 2012, weaker farm gate prices have been putting pressure on producers’ incomes, which has been exacerbated by less favourable world market conditions. European milk processors in some countries have also taken advantage of their weak position.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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