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Dairy Farmers Revolt Paralyses Europe

17 September 2009

EU - More than 40,000 farmers in eight countries have stopped supplying milk as European ministers continue to ignore the severe milk crisis across Europe.

When agriculture ministers allowed producers to increase the permitted volume of milk of an already saturated market (despite industry demands to reduce it), surplus production rocketed causing a catastrophic price collapse which is sending many European dairy farmers out of business.

President of the French milk producers organisation, APLI, Mr Massol has said, "The current policy is a failure. In dairy farmers have turned to the last resort and have stopped supplying the dairies with their milk."

"The politicians must act at once to defuse the situation," said President of the European Milk Board (EMB), Romuald Schaber. “The striking dairy farmers demand that the politicians tackle the core problem and implement an immediate reduction in the volume of milk to enable dairies to pay cost-covering milk prices as quickly as possible. We also expect the politicians to hold talks with us forthwith to discuss how European milk production can be geared in the long term to supply and demand so as to ensure cost-covering producer prices for the dairy farmers.”

Milk producers are prepared to shoulder the responsibility and control the supply themselves, he continued. The EMB has drawn up a concrete raft of demands and already presented it to the politicians.

Erwin Schöpges of the Milk Producer Lobby (MIG) in Belgium said: “This milk policy is also ruining milk producers in developing countries. The reintroduction of the antiquated mechanism of export subsidies early in the year means that European milk is being sold at artificially cheap prices on the world market, destroying local markets in poor countries.”

Roberto Cavaliere of the Italian milk producers’ organisation APL della Pianura Padana said: “The survival of tens of thousands of dairy farms is at stake. On top of that there are a hundred thousand jobs upstream and downstream of milk production.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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