flag de flag gb flag fr
Legal notice     European Milk Board ASBL | Rue du Commerce 124 | B-1000 Bruxelles

News Details

PDF-Icon Icon-Print

24.08.2009

Demands on politics

System change -

for the lasting stability of sustainable milk production and the dairy industry throughout Europe


Preamble

A surfeit of supply: surpluses are preventing cost-covering prices paid to milk producers and destroying farms and regional structures

Since autumn 2008 the European milk market has been under considerable pressure from volumes, with milk supply manifestly exceeding demand. The flooding of the market with milk has resulted in all-time low milk prices. Milk producers are being paid between 18 and 24 cents a kilo, which approximates to half of production costs and therefore half the price required. This situation is almost wholly responsible for farms abandoning milk production and thus for the loss of regional supply structures to boot.

Promoting sales is not enough; production volume has to be reduced

The EU Commission has been trying to stabilise the market since early 2009 by re-introducing export refunds and storing vast quantities of butter and MMP (incl. private storage this totals some 450,000 tons). Although these measures have already cost hundreds of millions of Euros, they have not prevented the slump in the milk price referred to above. It is not enough to be active on the sales level. The production volume has to be reduced.

Joint responsibility of politicians and milk producers

Politicians and producers have a joint responsibility for a sustainable milk production throughout Europe. This is a social issue, with the values at stake being such as security of supply, food quality, sustainability, food sovereignty, and the vitality of the countryside.

By taking the measures outlined below the politicians can create the requisite basic conditions for cost-covering milk producer prices in a favourable and sustainable way, enabling farms to survive.

 

I)   The following basic conditions are required for producers to have more clout in the market and for cost-covering milk-producer prices to be achieved:

1.  Monitoring agency

To analyse and estimate supply and demand a European monitoring agency has to be set up in which all the players in the milk market are represented: milk producers (EMB), the dairy industry, consumer organisations and politicians. This agency will find out the costs of producing milk, on a regular basis. The corresponding cost-covering producer price will be the yardstick for stipulating the volume of milk and the monitoring agency’s use of various instruments.

2.  Producer-financed levy

A legal basis must be created to allow the introduction of a producer levy to which every milk producer in the EU is subject. This levy is to be used to finance a demand-led control of volumes, i.e. to increase or decrease the volume depending on the     development of demand.

3.  Universal applicability

To enable market-shaping instruments to have teeth, what is called for is an EU-wide limit on volumes enshrined in law based on reference volumes for individual farms.

4.  Unifying milk producers

Finally, a legal basis has to be created that allows milk producers to unite on the member states’ level and above and beyond that in producer co-operatives.

II)     Measures to be taken in the short term to raise prices paid to milk producers

Given the crisis in the market a step-by-step plan has to ensure that the milk price is raised to a cost-covering level; this requires the politicians reducing the volume of milk to enable the dairies to pay cost-covering milk prices as quickly as possible.

By 1.10.09: 30 cents, by 1.11.09: 33 cents, by 1.12.09: 37 cents, by 1.1.2010: 40 cents

This calls for the following measures:

1.The effective restriction of national netting options

2. Freezing the 1% rise in quotas by 1.4.2009

3.A pan-European invitation to participate in a voluntary, time-limited reduction in volumes.

The monies from the super-levy paid by the producers and the funds from the export subsidy and the intervention can be used for Measure 3. These will thus be used to impact on the market and will be of direct benefit to the dairy farms.

Corresponding laws or regulations have to be passed in such a way that they can come into effect in good time.

Demands on politics (pdf)


More News

19.07.2016

No consequent action to combat the crisis in the dairy sector

The measures adopted by the Agriculture Council are far from enough to overcome the crisis

15.07.2016

No end in sight for the horrors plaguing the dairy sector

Current cost calculations still show disastrous shortfall in cost coverage in milk production

14.07.2016

Newsletter July online!

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. Read more...

12.07.2016

“That’s it: there must be no more wishy-washy decisions!”

European milk producers demand effective measures for the sector from the European Council of Ministers of Agriculture

04.07.2016

The milk market: Even large farms in Denmark and the Netherlands cannot cover costs

Recent figures on costs refute the claim that large farm structures are the solution to the milk dilemma

30.06.2016

Third Fair Milk Conference in Luxembourg

honours achievements in sustainable farming

24.06.2016

Newsletter June online!

The situation on the European milk market continues to deteriorate and the decisions and measures adopted by the Commission in March have proven to be - as was clear to see from early on - ineffective and inappropriate as a way out of the current crisis. Read more...

Displaying results
<< First < Previous 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28 29-35 36-42 43-49 Next > Last >>