Industry Groups Criticise EU Milk Package

EU - The EU Milk Package has been criticised at a meeting between European industry groups where the importance of fair markets and a public dairy policy were reiterated.
calendar icon 7 December 2012
clock icon 1 minute read

At the conference on European dairy policy organised by the Confédération Paysanne and the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), the ECVC, the EMB (European Milk Board) and FFE (Fairness for Farmers in  Europe) issued the following statement:

  • Farmers do not want to produce more for less
  • A healthy dairy economy cannot be based on selling at a loss (selling milk at less than the cost of production
  • No to privatisation of European dairy policy
  • Supply management is essential for maintaining sustainable pan?European milk production on family farms.

The 'Milk Package' was also critiqued at the meeting where it was said that instead of  solving  the problems  faced by European dairy  farmers,  the milk package adopted by  the EU earlier  this  year has left farmers at the mercy of the processing industry.

The talks covered supply management issues saying that without it, producers and producer organisations will not be able to increase their market power. If too much milk is produced, prices will remain low and it was the common consensus that contracts that do not take production costs into account will benefit industry, not farmers.

Encouraging  European  farmers  to  believe  that  their  future  lies  in  the  export  market  is  delusional, concluded the dairy conference. Industry  and  retailers are primarily interested in benefitting from cheaper milk and farmers do not want to produce more for less.

The massed organsiations agreed that it must  be  recognised  that  the EU  is already  producing  surplus and  has  to  import a  significant  quantity  of  inputs  to sustain these exports and instead, European market supply should be prioritised and there should be an end to all exporting at prices below  European production costs.

The industry have said they will try to end below production cost prices and establish a price corridor around the average cost of production. Milk production can be increased or decreased to ensure prices continue to fall within this corridor.

All of the groups acknowledged that the EU needs effective legislatino so that farmers are not at the mercy of companies upstream and downstream. There was a consensus supporting recent dairy protests in Brussels and Galicia.

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