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Dear Dairy Farmers and Interested Parties,

Italy has a lot on its plate this year and next year: on 1 July it took over the presidency of the European Union for six months, and it will be hosting the Universal Exposition (EXPO) in Milan from 1 May to 31 October 2015. APL Italy will take this opportunity and be present at EXPO throughout. In addition the EMB will be holding its annual General Meeting during the world exposition and organising a “Fair Milk Conference” and a “World Milk Summit”.

The European dairy farmers were severely put to the test by the Russian ban on food imports in early August. To calm the situation, last week the European Commission announced supporting measures for the milk sector. For instance, the subsidies for private storage are to be made available for butter, skimmed milk powder and specific types of cheese, and the intervention period for butter and skimmed milk powder is to be extended until the end of the year. The aid planned by the European Commission is an important reaction for the milk sector, although these measures offer no satisfactory solution for stabilising the milk price in the long term.

The important thing now would be to apply the crisis funds properly, i.e. with voluntary production cuts and the milk quota, which is still operating until the end of March 2015. It is vital to stop milk being produced that cannot be absorbed by the market. 

This issue of the Newsletter focuses on the consequences of the Russian ban on imports for the European milk producers and the EMB’s recent press release on the planned supporting measures for the milk sector.

The Russian embargo shows that the European milk market needs instruments to be able to defuse crises like this. The European Milk Board has drawn up a crisis concept that can prevent such situations. We have already contacted the European Commission, the Members of the European Parliament and the national Ministers of Agriculture with a view to presenting our concept to them.

Roberto Cavaliere, Member of the EMB Board

Russian import ban: EMB calls for voluntary production cuts to ease situation on dairy market

© wikimedia commons

Current EMB press release on the Russion import ban.

(Brussels, 29th August 2014) "The fact that the European Commission reacted to the import ban was important. However, the planned private storage aid for butter, skimmed milk powder and certain cheeses and the extension of the period for public intervention do not provide a sufficient solution", commented Romauld Schaber, President of the European Milk Board (EMB), on the measures for the milk market recently announced by the European Commission.


Russian import ban has far-reaching effects for milk producers

© wikimedia commons

The ban on imports imposed by Russia in early August affects not only fruit, vegetables and meat but also milk and dairy products.The European Commission has already committed € 125 million to emergency measures for perishable species of fruit and vegetables.


Latest figures on milk production: Gap between costs and prices is growing


Current EMB press release on milk production figures.

(Brussels, 1st September 2014) As shown by the latest results of the study on milk production costs carried out by the Büro für Agrarsoziologie & Landwirtschaft (BAL), the cost of milk production in Germany in April 2014 reached 45,95 ct/kg, while the farm gate milk price dropped to 40,60 ct/kg. This leaves producers with a shortfall in their production costs of more than 5 cents per kilogramme. In January 2014, production costs were 45,16 cents and the farm gate price amounted to 41,46 ct/kg.


President of the Swiss Farmers’ Union: “It is primarily the big producers that are giving up now.”

© Markus Ritter

When the quota system operating in the Swiss milk market was abolished five years ago, the consequences affected the entire milk market. Markus Ritter, the President of the Swiss Farmers’ Union, explains in an interview what has changed for producers and processors since then.


Key points about the milk production situation in France

© Coordination rurale

Drop in revenue for milk producers

The CCAN [National Agriculture Audit Committee] has published provisional results for 2013. Against a background of a general decrease in earnings before tax for the self-employed working on medium-sized and large French farms (down 19%) compared to 2010-2012, dairy farms generated earnings before tax of € 23,300, or 11% less than in the period 2010-2012.


Dairy farmers from Burkina Faso on a visit to southern Germany


The aid organisation MISEREOR invited two representatives from Burkina Faso to Germany in May. René Millogo and Adam Diallo, who champion livestock herders and micro-dairies in their country, were given the opportunity to visit farms in the Allgäu and in the Eifel regions. The aim of the visit was to enable dialogue and an exchange of ideas between the Burkinabe and German milk producers. MISEREOR has been working together with livestock herders in Burkina Faso for several years, and has already focused on the correlation between the EU milk market and its export orientation and the situation in the Southern hemisphere in studies and exhibitions.


Brief news from Brussels

© wikimedia commons

EMB Agenda

The EMB Board’s most important dates in September 2014:

  • 3.09.:         Civil Dialogue Meeting Milk to discuss the Russian import ban
  • 9.09.:         Meeting on milk pooling in Brussels
  • 24.09.:       Milk Market Observatory meeting (Russian import ban)
  • 24.09.:       Talks with MISEREOR, Oxfam and MIG on Burkina Faso




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