EMB Newsletter May 2018
Dear dairy farmers, dear interested parties,
A new Executive Committee has been at the helm of the European Milk Board since mid-April 2018.
In a very moving Members' Assembly, Romuald Schaber, founder and President of the European Milk Board, was bid farewell after serving for twelve years. John Comer as well stepped down after six years of committed work. Two young, motivated milk producers – Pat McCormack from Ireland and Johannes Pfaller from Germany – were elected to the new Executive Committee.
In light of the current situation, strong representation for Europe's milk producers is more important than ever before. The EMB Executive Committee is conscious of this responsibility. It is only by working together that we can achieve cost-covering milk prices for all dairy farmers in Europe, thus assuring us fair remuneration for our daily work.
Time is of the essence – we should all be aware that it will be very difficult for our family farms to stay in business unless the framework conditions to provide for fair prices on the dairy market are quickly created.
At the Members' Assembly, we also decided that solidarity among dairy farmers in Europe should be showcased and brought to the forefront. We want to clearly show national and European decision-makers that the EMB fosters unity and will do everything required to make it possible to pass on sound, viable farms to the next generation.
We need a Europe-wide solution to align milk production with the existing market situation and we need it NOW. Firstly, the Milk Market Observatory should be empowered to act. It must become a European body that decides when and how volume should be adjusted. This could mean increasing production in line with corresponding demand or reducing it in light of surpluses. There is no point of an observatory that only observes the dairy market without reacting appropriately to crises!
We are looking to continue discussions with the European institutions, national Agriculture Ministers and all stakeholders on the dairy market. Our goal is to improve conditions for milk producers in Europe as a whole. We are also developing actions and campaigns in parallel. We are definitely not running out of ideas.
The great enthusiasm and commitment at the last Members' Assembly to pursue our goals in solidarity was a source of great motivation for me. The EMB lives through its dairy farmers and we are all highly driven to ensure that we can keep exercising our profession. We farmers can continue to provide the high-quality products that consumers expect only if we are paid cost-covering prices and receive fair remuneration for our work. Producers, processors, traders and consumers must acknowledge these goals – for sustainable farming and for the survival of family farms.
Let's get to work, we have no time to lose! I call on you all to support the entire Executive Committee and myself. Our strength is in a united front!
Erwin Schöpges, President of the European Milk Board