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04.06.2013

Press release: Major farmers’ demonstration in Berlin

European milk producers tear down political walls!

It is above all the German government that always blocks every reasonable proposal for a functioning EU milk market in Brussels. For this reason, on 3rd and 4th June 2013 milk producers from all over Europe came to the German capital Berlin in order to demonstrate and symbolically pull down the obstructing wall put up by the German government. With this action they showed how important new crisis instruments such as voluntary production cuts are for the milk market.

(Berlin, 3rd - 4th June 2013) Hundreds of members of the European Milk Board (EMB), the European federation of milk producers’ organisations in Europe, and of supporting organisations demonstrated yesterday and today in Berlin. In the face of the current negotiations on the common organisation of agricultural markets, which currently take place between the European Parliament, the Member States and the Commission, the farmers want to put pressure the German government so that the crisis instrument of voluntary production cuts is not abandoned.

"With the instrument of voluntary production cuts producers are rewarded for their behaviour in line with the market situation, in order to prevent crises and save public money. In the current climate of economic hardship and an extremely tense budgetary situation in most of the Member States, instruments such as voluntary production cuts offer a feasible and financially viable solution. For this reason, European farmers and consumers do not understand why the German government does not seize this opportunity. This is why so many producers came to Berlin yesterday and today in order to demonstrate and express their discontent", said EMB President Romuald Schaber.

In the reform process of the common organisation of EU agricultural markets, it is above all the German federal government that blocks every reasonable solution for the milk market, that way creating an "obstructing wall". To symbolically represent this fact, dairy farmers from the EMB built an about fifty meter long hay wall in front of the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin, which they later, during an eye-catching action, tore down. Together with an equally symbolic action organised by European women farmers the previous day, this clearly showed the German government that in the face of the continuing crisis milk producers have to fight for their very survival. One clear demonstration of this is the fact that since 2009 the costs of milk production in Europe are not being covered anymore. Thousands of farms were therefore already forced to give up and cease production or their existence is at stake.

The European Milk Board (EMB) is a European umbrella organisation representing 19 milk producers' associations from 14 European countries and a total of approximately 100.000 dairy farmers. Around 75% of the milk volume in Europe is produced in its member states.

Contacts:

EMB President Romuald Schaber (DE): +49 (0)160 3524703

EMB press contact Christian Schnier (DE, EN, FR): +32 (0)2 8081935

 

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