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

News Details

PDF-Icon Icon-Print Tip A Friend Icon

06.10.2011

Press Release: EU Council Ignores Threat to Milk Producers’ Livelihood

 

In negotiations on the dairy market reform, the EU Council obstinately opposes major progress such as a monitoring agency and binding contracts for dairies throughout the EU

Brussels/Hamm, 06.10.2011: “It is incomprehensible how the Council of the EU is blocking major progress in the dairy market with its obstinate attitude”, is how the President of the European Milk Board (EMB), Romuald Schaber, sums it up. At present the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council are holding negotiations on the Milk Package – a first reform of the dairy market. “It is obvious from the Council’s first working document that the Council is ignoring the proposals included by the European Parliament, which could at least bring about some minor progress towards overcoming the crisis”, says Schaber.

For instance, the Parliament proposes an EU-wide obligation to have contracts between producers and dairies, which the Council rejects. These contracts, which would have to be guided by production costs and negotiated by producer organisations across the board with the dairies, give producers the chance to obtain a fair price for their milk. This will not be achieved if – as the Council evidently intends – each individual member state is to decide whether it introduces compulsory contracts or not.

As the Council’s working document goes on to show, what is referred to as the monitoring agency, proposed by the Parliament after talks with the EMB, is not to be included in the final dairy market regulation. According to the Parliament, this agency’s initial function should be to collect market data on volume, price and costs. Even if no active supply management is planned yet, the monitoring agency as a market observer would be a beginning at least. Schaber explains the importance of this market instrument: “Once the state quota system comes to an end, it is only through a monitoring agency that we can prevent damaging surplus volumes being produced and the market plunging deeper into crisis.”

The problem is also that the Council intends to put very severe limits on the size of producer organisations that negotiate contracts with dairies on behalf of milk producers: 33% of the national milk production and 3.5% of EU production. That is not enough to give producer organisations the requisite bargaining power. Dairies achieve a share of up to 95% of the national market. This enables them to simply dictate contractual terms and conditions – and with it inordinately low prices – to a producer organisation that is never allowed to achieve such numbers.

Whereas before in the EU only the Council and Commission worked everything out amongst themselves, now the Parliament has to be included in decisions on the new dairy market reform. It is questionable, though, whether this will actually result in more democracy. “Unfortunately, as you can see, the old “double act” – Council and Commission – looks as though it still does not want to take the Parliament’s opinion on board”, is how Schaber criticises the situation in Brussels. Do the policy-makers want to solve the crisis or merely pretend they are doing something? Inactivity will quickly reproduce the Swiss situation in the EU. In 2009 the Swiss legislator abolished the quotas without bringing in a sensible follow-up regulation for the dairy market. Since then, farm-gate prices have been in a downward spiral. For the European milk producers it is incomprehensible how the EU Council in particular is being so irresponsible and ignorant in wasting every opportunity to bring balance into the dairy market and overcome the severe crisis. The problems in milk production are not being taken seriously; the protesting dairy farmers are simply being ignored. Politicians have forgotten that it was their protests that forced them to put the situation in the dairy sector on the political agenda.

Contact: Silvia Däberitz, EMB Press Officer (DE, EN, ES): 0049 2381 4361 200



 


EMB – European Milk Board, Office

Bahnhofstraße 31, D – 59065 Hamm, Germany

Tel.: 0049 – 2381 – 4360495

Fax: 0049 – 2381 – 4361153

office@europeanmilkboard.org

www.europeanmilkboard.org


Please click here for a pdf-version of this document

 


More News

16.09.2014

Press release: A new Commissioner for Agriculture must not change course

Even though Ciolos is stepping down as Commissioner for Agriculture at the end of the year, the new Commissioner must continue the policy of stabilising the milk market

Category: Press 01.09.2014

Press release: Latest figures on milk production: Gap between costs and prices is growing

(Brussels, 1st September 2014) As shown by the latest results of the study on milk production costs carried out by the Büro für Agrarsoziologie & Landwirtschaft (BAL), the cost of milk production in Germany in April 2014 reached 45,95 ct/kg, while the farm gate milk price dropped to 40,60 ct/kg. This leaves producers with a...

Category: Press 29.08.2014

Press release: Russian import ban: EMB calls for voluntary production cuts to ease situation on dairy market

Measures planned by EU Commission not sufficient to stabilise milk market

 

Category: Press 12.08.2014

Press release: Russian ban on imports shows how vital supply management instruments are to the milk market

EMB President Romuald Schaber stresses importance of a supply management or crisis instrument in the light of the Russian ban on imports

 

Category: Press, Belgium / Luxembourg / Netherlands 25.07.2014

Press release: Belgian milk producers unite in the WAllonia FArmers Board (WAFAB)

(Brussels, 25.07.2014) At a press conference in Libramont, Belgium, today Belgian farmers announced the formation of the WAllonia FArmers Board (WAFAB). The aim of this move is to improve the Wallonian producers’ market position which, as throughout Europe, is chronically weak. “The producers are unable to defend their...

Displaying results 11 to 15 out of 360

< Previous

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Next >