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17.11.2017

That's right Mr. Macron: Milk prices must reflect production costs!

French, Belgian and German producers tour across Germany to reinforce the goal of cost coverage in the EU

Brussels, Göttingen, 17/11/2017: On their tour across Germany, French and Belgian milk producers learnt about many things, in addition to the virtues of a good pork knuckle with sauerkraut. During their three-day visit, which took them from North Rhine-Westphalia to Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the highlight was definitely the exchanges with their German colleagues that were the source of important insights. As members of the International Pooling Commission of Milk Producers (IPCMP), MEG Milch Board and the European Milk Board (EMB) were also invited to participate in this tour.

Emmanuel Binois from the French producer organisation France MilkBoard Grand Ouest was impressed with the discussions in Germany: "From the discussions, it became apparent to us that the issues of cost coverage and relations with private and cooperative dairies are the same - both in Germany and in France. It is clear that we, dairy farmers across the EU, must work together in order to weigh in both politically and economically."

True to the motto "strength in unity", producer organisation WAFAB is also working in Belgium to assure its producers a better standing. The affiliated producers pool their selling, purchasing and marketing activities, so that they can negotiate with dairies on an equal footing. For Jürgen Müller from WAFAB, it is important to be innovative in this regard: "We need to find new products that give us added value and make us less dependent on quotations on the world market."

Axel Walterschen from the Executive Committee of the MEG Milch Board was pleased with the success of the tour. In his opinion, solidarity between European dairy farmers plays an especially important role and was successfully showcased yet again during this joint visit: "I have a personal motivation to interact with my colleagues here. This contact makes us realise that milk producers from France and Belgium are not our opponents, but are, in fact, also fighting for a better position in the dairy sector."

EMB Director Silvia Däberitz sees clear movement among milk producers. She says that producers have done a lot in recent years. Through the MilkBoards as well as political organisations like the EMB, structures that afford producers greater participation both economically and politically have been created. "We must build on these structures and continue with our proactive approach. That is our task. Policy-makers, on the other hand, must create a legal framework that truly promotes producer pooling and prevents dairy market crises," says Däberitz. The EMB has proposed the so-called Market Responsibility Programme (MRP) during political discussions as a practical crisis mechanism.

According to Emmanuel Binois from the FMB, a possible turnaround can already be seen in political debates in France: "President Macron has sent out some positive signs. He has stated that he is in favour of laws that would ensure that future prices are calculated on the basis of production costs."

Milk prices that reflect production costs is an important goal for European milk producers. They will continue to work toward this in the future as well. Not alone, but together!

 

Background

The International Pooling Commission of Milk Producers (IPCMP) is an action network within the European Milk Board working to improve exchanges between milk producers from different EU countries. The objective of this cooperation is strengthening the market position of producers. Production costs should serve as the basis for fixing prices in contracts and milk producers should not simply be "price-takers", but must become price negotiators as well.

You can watch a video from the pooling tour (in German) here

 

Contacts:

France MilkBoard
+33 (0)6 80 28 51 82
fmb.grandouest@gmail.com

MEG Milch Board w. V.
+49 (0)551 50 76 490
info@milch-board.de

Wallonia Farmers Board
+32 (0)470 47 33 40
info@wafab.be

European Milk Board asbl
+32 (0) 2 808 1935
office@europeanmilkboard.org

 


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