flag de flag gb flag fr
Legal notice     European Milk Board ASBL | Rue de la Loi 155 | B-1040 Bruxelles

News Details

PDF-Icon Icon-Print

24.01.2018

Visit to EU milk powder storage facility

What can EU intervention realistically achieve and what can it not?

(Herstal/Brussels, 24/01/2018): A very large volume of milk powder to the tune of 380,000 tons is currently in EU intervention. To get an idea of what even a few thousand tons looks like, EU policy-makers and members of the EMB Executive Board visited the Belgian milk powder storage facility Vincent Logistics in Herstal today. It is currently stacked with milk powder sacks amounting to 12,600 tons, which are awaiting further use.

 

Romuald Schaber, president of the European Milk Board (EMB) does not wish to demonise the concept of intervention in itself. "Intervention is definitely useful in scooping up seasonal surpluses and redistributing them. There is sense in skimming off milk powder during production peaks and selling it at a later point in time, when market conditions are more favourable and demand rises." However, intervention is not a full-fledged crisis instrument that can keep a chronically unstable market in check, says the President of the European dairy farmers association. The overflowing storage facilities clearly show that intervention is not appropriate as a permanent crisis instrument. This milk powder also stands in the way of long-term market recovery.

 

The European Milk Board is lobbying for a general reduction in the current intervention volume of 109,000 tons per year as well as a simultaneous increase in intervention price. "Intervention milk powder must be sold at a stable price, i.e. it cannot be sold at dumping prices," underlines Erwin Schöpges, EMB Executive Committee member from Belgium. It would also be conceivable to remove the current stocks in alternative ways without damaging the market.

 

The EMB is advocating for a crisis instrument that is part of the CAP and can counteract chronic market instabilities. This instrument should monitor the market and react to crisis risks associated with current production conditions by activating measures like voluntary production cuts.

 

As EU Agriculture Commissioner Hogan also states in his guidelines for the new CAP "The Future of Food and Farming", we need a robust framework for the farming sector to successfully prevent or deal with risks and crises. To this aim, effective and appropriate instruments are a must. Considering the 12,600 tons of milk powder sitting in this storage facility in Wallonia alone, the shortcomings of the current Common Agricultural Policy framework have become more than clear to the dairy farmers and EU policy-makers present.

The wall-to-wall shelves of milk powder sacks present a nightmare scenario even for Bocar Diaw, president of the Senegalese interbranch organisation FENAFILS: "When large quantities of milk powder from the EU – from intervention or directly from processors – are sent to West Africa, our local milk producers have to shoulder the burden." Therefore, representatives from a number of West African countries as well as allied European producers signed a declaration in October 2017 denouncing the massive export of European skimmed milk powder to West Africa. The Senegalese dairy farmer does not mince his words with the attending EU policy-makers: "Overproduction must be regulated within the European Union – Stop relocating your problems to West Africa!"


More information on the Market Responsibility Programme

More photos of the visit of the milk powder storage facility

 

 

Contacts:

 

EMB president Romuald Schaber (DE): +49 (0)160 352 4703

EMB board member Erwin Schöpges (FR, DE, NL): +32 (0)497 904 547

EMB director Silvia Däberitz (EN, FR, DE): +32 (0)2808 1936


More News

16.08.2018

Newsletter August online!

I am greatly concerned to see how Europe is currently facing significant pressure – nationalistic forces internally and divisive motivations externally. I am convinced that there will only be losers if this very dangerous situation were to become even worse. Read more

19.07.2018

Study shows success of the EU volume reduction scheme announced 2 years ago

(Brussels, 19.07.2018) Two years ago – on 18 July 2016 – European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan announced the EU volume reduction scheme for the dairy market. The measure was a great success and showed that even small reductions have a major effect on producer prices. A study by A. Fink-Keßler and A. Trouvé examined...

16.07.2018

Current figures from Germany show: gap between production costs and milk price is further increasing

(Brussels, 16.07.2018) The quarterly cost figures for Germany are now available and show that cost coverage in April 2018 was only 78%, while it was 88% in January. Production costs in April amounted to 42.70 cents; however, producers only received 33.42 cents per kilogram of milk. This problematic combination of falling milk...

13.07.2018

Newsletter July online!

As newly elected member of the Executive Committee of the European Milk Board, I would like to draw your attention in my editorial on current issues in Ireland. Angers mounts as Ireland’s biggest Co-op underpays on May milk price. Read more

11.07.2018

Drought causes discomfort for Europe's dairy farmers

Large parts of Europe have experienced major losses due to the continued heatwave. After a wet spring in countries like Ireland, the United Kingdom and France, the dry weather is now negatively affecting pastures, hay and silage production as well as cereal and straw production. As a consequence of the drought, milk producers...

20.06.2018

Newsletter June online!

It's a pleasant surprise when EU policy-makers propose positive developments: At the end of May, the European Parliament voted in favour of the report by Italian MEP Herbert Dorfmann on the 'Future of Food and Farming' and thus presented the Commission with a clear direction for the reform of the Common Agricultural...

18.06.2018

Urgent recommendation

EU Agriculture Council should decide to use milk powder from intervention as animal feed