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Dear Dairy Farmers and Interested Parties

The situation in the European milk market is becoming dramatically worse. For months prices have been falling in every country. But that’s not all: when the milk quotas in Europe are abolished at the end of March 2015, the producers will face another price collapse.

The price paid by the Danish dairy co-operative Arla has dropped from a level above European average to a level below average, which means more than a 10-cent drop. It is deeply worrying, because we, the Danish dairy producers, need at least the same price as the best-paying dairies in Europe to cover national expenses incurred under environmental, animal welfare and other national laws plus interest rates on very large debts. Only a fair milk price will allow dairy farmers to cover the additional costs caused by necessary investments.

The reason for plummeting milk prices throughout Europe is the same: production is totally out of synch with the market, that’s why the market is flooded with milk. And when the last system of limits – the milk quotas – ends next year, the livelihood of many farms will be severely at risk. Four meetings of the EU Civil Dialogue Groups (CDG) and the Milk Market Observatory (MMO) have clearly shown that all participants from real life – the farmers, the industry, the buyers and the retailers – know that the situation is very critical. Only the EU officials can see in their old papers from spring that the market is functioning and the subsequent Russian import ban is compensated with money for private storage – of Italian Parmesan cheese. Who does the EU represent?

The milk producers are therefore urging politicians to implement the Market Responsibility Programme (MRP) developed by the EMB. This programme provides effective incentives for farmers to adapt their production volumes to the market. When demand then picks up again, normal production can be restored. The MRP must be implemented, or else it will be a catastrophe for Europe’s milk producers.

We – the members of the European Milk Board – are agreed that there is still much to be done in the European milk market. To make this unmistakably clear to the politicians, the EMB is planning a media campaign outside the EU Commission building in Brussels on 11 December. We are dangerously close to the crisis scenarios of 2009 and 2012. We will meet at 10:30 hours at the Schuman roundabout in front of the European Commission. We count on your support!

Kjartan Poulsen, Member of the EMB Board and President of the LDM Denmark

First European Fair Milk Conference


The first European Fair Milk Conference was held in Ciney, Belgium, in early November. The aim of the organisers – the European Milk Board together with Faircoop Belgium – was to bring dairy farmers, the retail trade, consumers and politicians together and draw attention to the importance of fairly produced milk.



Awarding of the Golden Faironika – words of thanks from Dacian Ciolos


The first European Fair Milk Conference was held in Ciney, Belgium, on 6 November 2014. During the conference the Golden Faironika was awarded to the former European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, for his special services to sustainable milk production. Here are a few excerpts from his speech.



European milk producers warn against market liberalisation


Press release - EMB Members' Assembly

(Saint-Brice-en-Coglès, 21.11.2014) The situation in the European milk market is becoming dramatically worse. For months prices have been falling in every country.


Situation in Ireland

© wikimedia commons

Utmost in the mind of dairy farmers in Ireland this winter is milk price and quota.


Switzerland: For food sovereignty - agriculture affects every single one of us!

© Initiative Souveraineté Alimentaire

On 30 September the Swiss farmers’ union Uniterre, aided by several organisations and personalities, launched a federal people’s initiative aimed at enshrining the key points of food sovereignty in our constitution (the country’s supreme law). Several of the issues supported apply especially to the milk sector.




Interview with David Handley, Chairman of the FFA


The EMB interviewed Mister Handley concerning the FFA's latest protests that were held all round the country [see article in EMB Newsletter 11/2014]. David Handley is the Chairman of the farmers’ organisation Farmers for Action, the "grass-root fighting force of British agriculture". FFA formed in May 2000 by a group of farmers who were disillusioned by the ineffectiveness of the organisations representing their industry. David Handley, a dairy farmer from Monmouthshire in South Wales, has been Chairman of the organisation since 2000.


EU Commission sued by European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP and CETA

© European Citizens' Initiative “Stop TTIP”

As announced by the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Stop TTIP”, they will be taking the European Commission to court over its refusal to officially register the Citizens’ Initiative.


Brief news

© wikimedia commons


© Greens/EFA EP

EMB Agenda

The EMB Board’s key dates in December 2014:

  • 4.12.:          Meeting of the Dialogue Group with Commissioner for Trade Malmström
  • 5.12.:          Conference on the development of the agricultural markets (Brussels)
  • 10.12.:        TTIP talks: “What’s cooking?”
  • 10.12.:        Meeting with MEPs
  • 11.12.:        EMB campaign in Brussels “Europe is drowning in milk”
  • 11.12.:        EMB Board meeting
  • 16.12.:        Talks with the European Dairy Association (EDA)
  • 19.12.:        D19-20 mobilising forces against the TTIP and liberalisation


European Milk Board asbl
Rue de la Loi 155
B-1040 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 2808 1935
Fax: +32 2808 8265
E-Mail: office@europeanmilkboard.org
Website: http://www.europeanmilkboard.org