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MILK-NEWS

http://www.europeanmilkboard.org

Dear dairy farmers, dear interested parties,

December 2017 - time to take stock of the milk year 2017. A year that was marked by the EU volume reduction programme, which had an immediate effect on the dairy market.

Voluntary production cuts are something the European Milk Board has been demanding for many years and are also part of our Market Responsibility Programme (MRP). While the buying up of about 400,000 tons of milk powder as part of private and public intervention did not have any positive effect on milk prices, the introduction of voluntary production cuts led to a turnaround in the downward price spiral.

Butter was a curious exception in 2017. A change in food habits and a scientific confirmation of the nutritional value of butter led to record prices. The fact that speculation is still part of the game is leading to butter prices currently sinking again. Traders, nonetheless, assume that the demand for butter will remain high. Have the higher butter prices brought some relief to Europe's dairy farmers? Barely, because dairies have increased their prices for fat content only marginally. As a result, current milk prices continue to be lower than production costs. In the system as it stands, price increases are not passed on to producers.

The foresight shown by decision-makers leaves much to be desired. The current proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy are categorically detrimental to us producers: An article on voluntary production cuts has not been included in the Omnibus Regulation. In response to a question by the EMB at the Civil Dialogue Group meeting on Milk in October, we were told that Agriculture Commissioner Hogan did not wish to make volume reduction a permanent instrument and that they want to prevent milk producers from relying too heavily on this measure. We are absolutely stunned: There are no such concerns with regards to milk powder and butter intervention. Processors and traders would undertake no risk whatsoever with this instrument. On the contrary, the high volumes of impossible-to-sell milk powder in storage are currently an issue for the European Commission. Agriculture Commissioner Hogan has recently tabled an amendment regarding the intervention buying of milk powder and wishes to reduce fixed-price public intervention buying in 2018 to zero tons. However, this temporary limitation on intervention volumes is no solution to the problems plaguing milk producers because it means that all risks must now be shouldered fully by dairy farmers.

At the EMB Members' Assembly, all members agreed that the only way to ensure long-term stability on the dairy market is to anchor the Market Responsibility Programme as a crisis instrument in the CAP. Only voluntary production cuts as an instrument can give milk producers a real choice about how to react when faced with a crisis. The EMB and its members will continue with this message and their efforts in 2018 as well. Political decision-makers must accept that we are not going to give up! It is time for the Common Agricultural Policy to once again be fair to whom it was created for: the weakest link in the chain. Active milk producers must be assured that they are safe from the imbalance of agricultural policy. Dairy farmers, who work the land with their effort and commitment, are an integral part of the rural landscape. They create jobs and strengthen the European economy. However, we dairy farmers are rarely recognised for our efforts. The fact that this has consequences is plain to see in the number of our colleagues who are shutting down their farms. Policy-makers must finally understand that they are responsible for deciding what shape Europe's future development will take. Agriculture is the cornerstone of the EU and of Brussels as well.

Dear policy-makers, please do what you have been hired to do: Protect your citizens from the power and dominance of individuals. Do not let yourselves be influenced by a handful of CEOs who only care about their own interests. Let us all benefit from a common European Union.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! And I wish our policy-makers acumen and foresight as well.

Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-president of the European Milk Board

FrieslandCampina gives itself the option of a standstill

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© wikimedia commons

The Dutch dairy co-operative FrieslandCampina (FC) has taken a measure enabling it to announce a standstill from 1 January to 30 June 2018. FC will resort to this measure if its members’ milk supply exceeds its processing capacity and/or it is unable to market this milk.

read more...

Demonstration in Bern and launch of milk petition

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© Uniterre

Farmers' association Uniterre organised a demonstration in Bern on 23 November to launch a petition for fair milk and to protest against inadequate milk purchasing contracts.

read more...

Successful start for Fair Milk in Switzerland

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© BIG-M

The sale of Fair Milk was launched on 2 December in the district of Affoltern, also known as "Säuliamt". Säuliamt is home to about 60,000 inhabitants and as well as 110 dairy farms with an annual milk production of 20 million litres.

read more...

EMB milk price comparison: Nothing to celebrate for dairy farmers

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© wikimedia commons

Enough to celebrate on the dairy market? Definitely not for milk producers. Figures from the last three months are, in fact, rather sobering. Two of the four dairies included in the EMB milk price comparison for France already slightly lowered their prices in October 2017.

read more...

Prevent future dairy crises! Ensure long-term milk production!

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© EMB

Milk producers from all over Europe reiterate their demand for a legally-anchored, effective volume control mechanism to deal with crises

read more...

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Dear dairy farmers, dear interested parties,

December 2017 - time to take stock of the milk year 2017. A year that was marked by the EU volume reduction programme, which had an immediate effect on the dairy market.

Voluntary production cuts are something the European Milk Board has been demanding for many years and are also part of our Market Responsibility Programme (MRP). While the buying up of about 400,000 tons of milk powder as part of private and public intervention did not have any positive effect on milk prices, the introduction of voluntary production cuts led to a turnaround in the downward price spiral.

Butter was a curious exception in 2017. A change in food habits and a scientific confirmation of the nutritional value of butter led to record prices. The fact that speculation is still part of the game is leading to butter prices currently sinking again. Traders, nonetheless, assume that the demand for butter will remain high. Have the higher butter prices brought some relief to Europe's dairy farmers? Barely, because dairies have increased their prices for fat content only marginally. As a result, current milk prices continue to be lower than production costs. In the system as it stands, price increases are not passed on to producers.

The foresight shown by decision-makers leaves much to be desired. The current proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy are categorically detrimental to us producers: An article on voluntary production cuts has not been included in the Omnibus Regulation. In response to a question by the EMB at the Dairy Civil Dialogue Group meeting in October, we were told that Agriculture Commissioner Hogan did not wish to make volume reduction a permanent instrument and that they want to prevent milk producers from relying too heavily on this measure. We are absolutely stunned: There are no such concerns with regards to milk powder and butter intervention. Processors and traders would undertake no risk whatsoever with this instrument. On the contrary, the high volumes of impossible-to-sell milk powder in storage are currently an issue for the European Commission. Agriculture Commissioner Hogan has recently tabled an amendment regarding the intervention buying of milk powder and wishes to reduce fixed-price public intervention buying in 2018 to zero tons. However, this temporary limitation on intervention volumes is no solution to the problems plaguing milk producers because it means that all risks must now be shouldered fully by dairy farmers.

At the EMB Members' Assembly, all members agreed that the only way to ensure long-term stability on the dairy market is to anchor the Market Responsibility Programme as a crisis instrument in the CAP. Only voluntary production cuts as an instrument can give milk producers a real choice about how to react when faced with a crisis. The EMB and its members will continue with this message and their efforts in 2018 as well. Political decision-makers must accept that we are not going to give up! It is time for the Common Agricultural Policy to once again be fair to whom it was created for: the weakest link in the chain. Active milk producers must be assured that they are safe from the imbalance of agricultural policy. Dairy farmers, who work the land with their effort and commitment, are an integral part of the rural landscape. They create jobs and strengthen the European economy. However, we dairy farmers are rarely recognised for our efforts. The fact that this has consequences is plain to see in the number of our colleagues who are shutting down their farms. Policy-makers must finally understand that they are responsible for deciding what shape Europe's future development will take. Agriculture is the cornerstone of the EU and of Brussels as well.

Dear policy-makers, please do what you have been hired to do: Protect your citizens from the power and dominance of individuals. Do not let yourselves be influenced by a handful of CEOs who only care about their own interests. Let us all benefit from a common European Union.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! And I wish our policy-makers acumen and foresight as well.

Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-president of the European Milk Board

Impressum

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