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European dairy farmers demand in Brussels - milk has to be issue for head of government

On 18 and 19 June milk producers from all over Europe will be demonstrating with their tractors to make it very clear to the heads of state and government of the EU countries at their meeting in Brussels how drastic the milk market situation in Europe is. German dairy farmers will also be calling on fellow female farmers in Europe to camp for one night outside the European Council building.



see pictures here

Route German farmers

Route Belgian farmers 

Route Dutch farmers

Route in Brussels

Hamm, 14.06.09: "We call on the European heads of state and government to put the catastrophic milk market situation at the top of the agenda", says Romuald Schaber, President of the European Milk Board (EMB), explaining the background to the widespread campaign of action.

The first tractors will already be setting off on Saturday from some EMB countries for two large demonstrations outside the EU Council building on 18 and 19 June to demand that the EU heads of state and government finally take effective measures to combat the crisis. In many countries, farmers are being paid as little as 20 cents for a litre of milk – and the trend is downwards. It is of urgent necessity to take immediate action and introduce a flexible control of volumes enabling supply to be adjusted to demand. That is the only way to achieve a cost-covering milk price across the market. "Pseudo-measures like export subsidies or preferential treatment of direct payments grasp the wrong end of the stick and fritter away EU funds", says Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-President of the EMB.

Dairy farmers from Germany have also called on their fellow female farmers in Europe to camp outside the EU Council building in the night of 18/19 June to bring home the demands. In May, female dairy farmers from the German Dairy Farmers Association (BDM) had already spent several nights outside the Federal Chancellor’s Office in Berlin, some of them even on a hunger strike that lasted several days. They had demanded that German Chancellor Angela Merkel put the milk price crisis at the top of the agenda. Back in April EMB farmers had camped outside the Dutch parliament in the Netherlands during a Milk Night and called on the politicians to finally take action about the milk price crisis.

Up until then the milk price crisis issue had been low down on the list of European political priorities. That has to change if the disastrous situation is to be taken in hand and further strangling of European dairy farms prevented.

Date: 18 June, 15.00 hours & 19 June, 12.00 hours
Place: outside the EU Council building, Justus-Lipsius, Rue de la Loi 175

Dairy farmers camping overnight

Date: the night of 18/19 June
Place: outside the EU Council building, Justus-Lipsius, Rue de la Loi 175


Appeal to all the Dairy Farmers of Europe

Dear Colleagues,
The situation of milk farmers throughout Europe is drastic. Many of those concerned hope that the milk price will recover by 2010 at the latest. However, at least as likely is the fear that the current situation can go on for several years unless we take active steps! The most effective, least expensive and quickest improvement in our situation can only be achieved if there is an immediate reduction by at least 5% of milk volumes across Europe. That would be the first important step towards flexible supply control by the milk producers.
Anyone who has been paying attention in the last few days could see how this demand has been gaining increasingly in support all over Europe. Even the German Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has expressed similar thoughts. Our activities so far have brought us a great deal closer to our goal.
Our problems are therefore to be deliberated on during the meeting of the EU heads of government in Brussels on 18/19 June 2009. We now call on all progressive dairy farmers in Europe to make their way with their tractors to Brussels on this occasion for a European dairy farmers’ meeting. There together we shall finally SUCCEED with our demands to the politicians, those demands being crucial to our survival!
Let us make use of the last few days before the harvest to stage an impressive demonstration of our strength and unity.

Dear Colleagues,
Of course taking part in such direct action is a big burden for many small farms. But the past has shown us that we can only really change things if we act together. The time to do so is now upon us. No more rounds of chit-chat: we demand solutions immediately that enable us to survive! Perhaps this is the last opportunity to achieve our aims without the “last resort”.
We await your arrival in Brussels on 18 June.
Start organising in your local area now. Involve journalists from the outset. We need the pictures to encourage other dairy farmers throughout Europe to fight on our side. The struggle itself is to be an objective. Affix the demands to your tractors and trailers in a clearly legible way.
Speak to agricultural service supply firms, agricultural machinery dealers, agricultural traders and other companies that depend on us for a living. Call for their support and solidarity.
Use the existing contacts in other regions and EU countries, motivate your professional colleagues.

Contacts for Germany:
Elke Lingstaedt: 0049/ 38852/906313
Thorsten Sehm: 0049/ 8161/53847312
                       0049/ 179/6880833

Contact for Luxemburg:
Fredy Martines: 00352/69 1998831
                  Mobile    00352998831

Contact for the Netherlands:
Sieta van Keimpema: 0031/612168000

Contacts for France:
Nicolas Coudray (FR): 0033/473531089
                    Mobile: 0033/684921762
Anne-Lise Motay (EN): 00332 32 37 67 84

Contact for Belgium:
Erwin Schöpges: 0032 497 90 45 47


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