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Crucial Measures Required To Ensure Future Of EU Dairy

11 June 2010

EU - In the run up to finalisation of the report by the High Level Expert Group (HLG) on the future EU dairy sector, Copa-Cogeca highlighted crucial measures needed to ensure the future development of the sector.

The draft report seems to successfully address major priorities which Copa-Cogeca called for in the HLG in the past months.

Speaking in Brussels, Cogeca-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: “I am anxiously waiting for the final report by the HLG which was first set up to find solutions to the crisis which hit the EU dairy sector last year and to ensure the future functioning of the sector in view of the fact that EU milk quotas expire in 2015. The economic situation of EU dairy farms is still very fragile. When we see the willingness of some operators to buy intervention stocks again below the market price, it is obvious that the recommendations in this report must restore dairy producers confidence in future. Above all, the HLG recommendations must become a reality, and be transformed quickly into concrete EU Commission proposals”

“First of all, Copa-Cogeca welcomes indications that the report will recommend retaining and using current EU measures to manage the market as a safety net. This is very important in order to protect producers income against extreme market volatility and to ensure a vibrant dairy sector in the future. The report would also recommend putting in place Community provisions for collective bargaining in the milk sector. This will enable recognised producer-owned organisations to jointly plan and market their production under clearly defined and harmonised criteria and to negotiate the conditions for its delivery and payment, including contractual terms with milk purchasers. However, this must take into account the economic role of dairy cooperatives which manufacture 60 per cent of milk collected in the EU.

“But Copa-Cogeca believes that the HLG should go much further in its recommendations designed to ensure greater transparency and information for both consumers and producers, especially on prices, volume flows and distribution of profit margins. Copa-Cogeca welcomes the fact that the issue of contractualisation is being taken seriously by the HLG. Concrete plans on this must follow and be presented by the Commission. The formal (written) contracts have the potential to give more stability and predictability to the sector. Their role would be further enhanced in conjunction with the Community collective bargaining provisions."

See here the link to the brochure “What future for milk in the EU?” for further details on Copa-Cogeca dairy priorities: http://www.copa-cogeca.eu/img/user/file/lait%2026-03-2010%20E.pdf.

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