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Press release: Man MIGHT Milk

Bull’s eye! Opening of exhibition in Brussels coincides with decisions of the agricultural committee on the reform of the agricultural policy

-  EU agricultural policy, men, milk, cows, environment and development -

Brussels, May 27th, 2011: The photo exhibition “Man MIGHT Milk – The European agricultural policy and family farming in the North and the South. Effects and prospects” was inaugurated in the European parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. On the same day the committee on agriculture of the European parliament voted on a report on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. Georg Häusler, head of cabinet of European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos, inaugurated the exhibition: “These pictures show people that look determined and vividly into the camera. You can see that they do not only farm the land carefully and expertly but also live with their livestock and the land. The European agricultural policy should provide clear framework conditions to offer these people a perspective in agriculture.”

Romuald Schaber, president of the European Milk Board, also commented approvingly on the exhibition stating that it showed that milk is “man-made”: “The pictures show very clearly the daily life of the people behind the milk. The North/South perspective of the exhibition shows exactly how milk production here and there provides the basis for the livelihoods of uncountable families. For long-term prospects of European milk producers as well as milk producers worldwide it is pivotal that the production in Europe is adapted to the demand. While discussing the future milk policy of the EU the members of the European parliament on the agricultural committee should be aware that they are responsible for meaningful framework conditions”. Schaber concretised this demand right away and said: “a monitoring agency should supervise and issue precise provisions based on the production costs and should thus guarantee that the produced milk volume corresponds to the demand”.

“We welcome that the report on the CAP reform, on whom the agricultural committee of the European parliament has just voted, highlights in section 33a the importance of measures for a volume control. This section states correctly that these measures could facilitate an effective regulation of the market and could prevent crises due to overproduction without any additional costs for the European Union.”

In his speech Martin Häusling, member of the European parliament and host of the exhibition, referred as well to the current discussions on the Nicholson-milk report in the agricultural committee: „the discussions are often about contracts between milk producers and dairies. Above all a good bargaining position is, however, vital to obtain fair contracts. That is why politics has to provide framework conditions that enable an effective pooling of milk producers.” José Bové, his colleague and fellow member of parliament, emphasised as well that the dairy market could not function without state interventions. If policy-makers ignored this necessity and the quotas were deleted without putting anything in their place one would soon see farmers only in pictures in museums.

Contact: Sonja Korspeter, 0049/1786021685

Please click here for the press release.

Please click here for pictures of the opening of the exhibition.

Please click here for the demands handed in to the European parliament.

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