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Dairy Farmers Demonstrate in Brussels

11 July 2012

EU - Overproduction on the European milk markets is leading to a dramatic fall in milk prices, and is likely to directly precipitate the next milk crisis. Hundreds of dairy farmers attached to the European Milk Board went to Brussels yesterday (10 July) to demonstrate in front of the European Parliament building.

Hundreds of members of the umbrella group of European dairy farmers' organisations, the European Milk Board (EMB), went to Brussels to voice a determined protest against the mismanagement of the European dairy market.

An overflowing "milk lake" was set up on Place du Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament building, to symbolise the current overproduction. The excess supply on the market is pushing milk prices to dangerously low levels, threatening the farmers' livelihoods.

In reaction to the current reform of the agricultural market organisation in the EU, EMB dairy farmers demand the implementation of concrete measures, including a voluntary supply constraint and the setting up of a European Monitoring Agency, as means of restoring the balance between supply and demand.

"Members of the European Parliament have to be careful in the light of the CAP reform, and take the steps that are right for the milk market. Otherwise, the European Commission's "soft landing" leads us to another crash landing in only three years. Virtually the only way to alleviate the situation is to reduce production, preferably by a voluntary supply constraint in the short term. The positive initial steps laid down in the European parliamentary committee's report on agricultural market regulations must be worked on and developed over the coming weeks and months, in collaboration with the politicians – which also means that constructive decisions will have to be taken," said Romuald Schaber, President of the EMB.

The European Milk Board (EMB) is the umbrella organisation of dairy farmers' associations in Europe. It currently represents 19 organisations from 14 European countries, with a total of 100,000 dairy producers. Approximately 75 per cent of the milk in Europe is produced in EMB member countries.

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