EMB Newsletter July 2016
Dear dairy farmers and interested parties,
The third European Fair Milk Conference was held at the end of June. This year's host was Fairkoperativ Lëtzebuerg, who was celebrating its 5th anniversary and organised the conference together with the EMB.
I was pleased to see that the issue of "fair milk" keeps gaining in political support. Besides numerous ministers and local politicians from Luxembourg, the Grand Duke and Duchess were also in the audience. The growing turnover in Fair Milk countries shows that more and more consumers are lending their support to our project and are actively promoting fair compensation for dairy farmers.
For many years now, the European Milk Board has been talking about the need for milk prices that actually cover costs. I am happy that we have been able to get a positive project like "Fair Milk" on its feet. In this issue of the newsletter, you have some articles about the conference in Luxembourg.
Fair Milk also received international recognition quite recently. At the end of June, Fairebel - the brand created by Belgian Fair Milk producers - received the World Dairy Innovation Award 2016 for corporate social responsibility. We are very proud to have received this accolade.
There is also some movement on the political side of things. We expect measures for voluntary production cuts to be adopted by Agriculture Ministers in the next Agriculture Council (July 18). It is absolutely essential for the EU to act as a whole and for temporary voluntary productions cuts to be implemented in all countries. An attractive financial incentive is a must to encourage enough producers and thus have a quick effect on the market. At the same time, the milk supplies of those who do not participate in the production cuts must be capped for the duration of the defined crisis period.
We are going to keep a close eye on the conclusions of the Agriculture Ministers. One thing is clear: If they present half-hearted measures that have no effect on milk prices, we will call for a large-scale European demonstration in autumn. Every farmer must decide for himself, how he is going to ensure the existence of his farm. Those who fight, can lose. Those who do not fight, have already lost! It is never too late!
Erwin Schöpges, Member of the EMB Executive Committee and MIG Belgium