EU – Rising incomes in Asia are presenting farmers with major opportunities, but Europe’s farmers must adapt to a different type of demand.
EU dairy leaders in Brussels yesterday heard that, although world dairy demand is forecast to rise 2.3 per cent ever year, the product mix required will change, shifting towards infant formula.
EU producers have to be prepared to change to new markets and be aware of logistical problems ahead, experts at the Copa-Cogeca conference warned.
Veterinary certificates, export licences and plant registration were complications flagged up as snags that would needed to be overcome if foreign potential was to be tapped into.
The seminar revealed a 317 per cent increase in Chinese consumption over the period of 1998 to 2013, leaving average annual consumption per person at 25 kilograms.
Looking ahead, China’s national demand is expected to double by 2020, experts revealed.
The outlook is positive and can drive rural economies, said Copa-Cogeca secretary general Pekka Pesonen.
However, for farmers to benefit, it is vital that governments do their part in cutting red tape when exporting outside of the European block, said Mansel Raymond, milk working party chairman for Cope-Cogeca.
In addition to the recent launch of the milk observatory initiative, Mr Raymond said fairer milk contracts will also assist producers.
Summarising the milk package, the EU policy to give farmers a price for milk reflecting production costs, Mr Raymond said: “Written contracts help to give producers some stability and a fairer balance.
“But the package is only in its infancy and it will take time to see the impact”.
The milk package has so far been implemented on a voluntary basis in UK, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and on a compulsory basis in Cyprus, France, Spain, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy Romania and Bulgaria.
TheCattleSite News Desk