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Dear Dairy Farmers and Interested Parties,

The hearing in the European Parliament on “The Milk Package and the prospects for the dairy sector” on 27 January in Brussels highlighted the completely opposite appreciation of the current situation in the milk market between the new Agricultural Commissioner, Mr Phil Hogan, who perseveres in his opinion that the milk market is not in crisis, and the AGRI Committee Rapporteur for “Development of the dairy market situation and the operation of the Milk Package provisions”, Mr James Nicholson. Without a doubt, the latter said, the milk market is in crisis again, and milk producers are paying the price for it.

You can find a detailed report of the hearing in this newsletter.

At the conference of the European Commission on 5 December 2014 called “2024 prospects for EU Agricultural Markets”, Christophe Lafougère from Gira presented the prospects of the dairy sector. His presentation mentioned the investment of billions of euros in expanding processing capacity in Europe (mainly co-ops), the weakness of co-ops to add value to milk and the expected disappearance of thousands of dairy farms. However, these slides have disappeared from the presentation published on the Commission’s website. They are being kept from MEPs and policymakers.


I received the original presentation from the author, but do not have authorisation to publish these slides. Dear members of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament: please demand an explanation from the Commission why these very important data are being withheld from you. Data necessary to answer your questions with regard to transparency and the distribution of margins in the dairy chain. Data necessary to form a balanced opinion on the chosen path and the measures that are needed for milk producers in crisis situations.


The objectives of the Treaty of Lisbon concerning agriculture are clear: stabilise markets and ensure a fair living standard for the agricultural community.

That is your responsibility and your task. Please live up to your responsibilities.


Sieta van Keimpema, EMB Vice-President

Hearing on “The Milk Package and the prospects for the dairy sector”

© European Union, 2015

At the hearing in the European Parliament on 27 January, all experts, including the EMB, were of the opinion that the Milk Package had failed in its attempt to bring real improvements in the market position of milk producers.


Expensive Swiss franc causing dairy farmers huge problems

© wikimedia commons

The Swiss dairy industry faces a Herculean task. The Swiss National Bank abolished the minimum exchange rate for the euro. The franc exchange rate rocketed 20% in one day. This increased the difference in price with abroad at a stroke.


Situation in Ireland in January

© wikimedia commons

Irish dairy farmers’ concern in the early part of 2015 is milk price and quota availability. The milk price paid to dairy farmers for December 2014 was 30-32 cents per litre, down from 39 cents per litre in the middle of 2014. There is a huge concern amongst farmers regarding the likely milk price for 2015 and its impact on farm profitability.



Green Week Berlin - Symposium BDM Germany

© wikimedia commons

(Berlin, 17.01.15) 1,000 dairy farmers from all over Germany took up the invitation of the Bundesverband Deutscher Milchviehhalter BDM e.V. (German Dairy Farmers Association) to attend its symposium during Green Week in Berlin.



Study gathering organised by the MIG Belgium


In early January the Belgian Milk Producer Lobby MIG invited two farmers from Germany and Denmark, whose presentations made people sit up.


Interview with Dace Pastare

© Jana Ligata

Mrs Dace Pastare is President of the Marsava Co-operative and member of the Latvian Milk Producers’ Association. Together with her husband she runs a dairy farm with 120 cows, which is a medium-sized farm in Latvian terms. The Marsava Co-operative has 85 members and produces 80 tons of milk a day.


News from Brussels

© wikimedia commons

EMB Agenda

The EMB Board’s key dates in February 2015:

  • 03.02.:        Public Hearing on "Investment Protection and ISDS in EU Trade and Investment Agreements"
  • 04.02.:        Stakeholders event of the 8th Round TTIP Negotiations (Presentation EMB)
  • 10.02.:        Event “Good Food Good Farming” (Presentation EMB)
  • 13.02.:        Meeting Civil Dialogue Group "Quality & Promotion"
  • 24.02.:        Talks with MEPs (Brussels)
  • 24.02.:        Meeting of the Milk Market Observatory (Brussels)
  • 24.02.:        EMB Board meeting (Brussels)


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