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Flexible market oriented supply management in times of crises
for the lasting stability of sustainable milk production throughout Europe

 

Preamble

A surfeit of supply: surpluses are preventing cost-covering prices paid to milk producers and destroying farms and regional structures

The European milk market is under considerable pressure from volumes, with milk supply manifestly exceeding demand. The flooding of the market with milk has resulted in all-time low milk prices. Milk producers are not being paid prices as high as the production costs. This situation is almost wholly responsible for farms abandoning milk production and thus for the loss of regional supply structures to boot. 

 

Promoting sales is not enough; production volume has to be reduced

The EU Commission has been trying to stabilise the market with export refunds and  by storing vast quantities of butter and MMP. Although these measures have already cost hundreds of millions of Euros, they have not prevented the slump in the milk price referred to above. It is not enough to be active on the sales level. The production volume has to be reduced. 

 

Joint responsibility of politicians and milk producers

Politicians and producers have a joint responsibility for a sustainable milk production throughout Europe. This is a social issue, with the values at stake being such as security of supply, food quality, sustainability, food sovereignty, and the vitality of the countryside.
By taking the measures outlined below the politicians can create the requisite basic conditions for cost-covering milk producer prices in a favourable and sustainable way, enabling farms to survive.

 

Crises instrument: The Market Responsibility Programme (MRP)

A crises instrument is required for producers to have more clout in the market and for cost-covering milk-producer prices to be achieved. The MRP is a programme for the EU milk sector that is used when there is a risk of a milk market imbalance.

More about the MRP