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Press release: EMB calls upon Farm Ministers’ Summit in Luxembourg to take urgent action

volume reduction to face the crises

Hamm, 22 June 2009: The EU Ministers of Agriculture meet today in Luxembourg, and EMB will be there to underline again that immediate and midterm action by politics is needed. The vice-president of the European Milk Board, Sieta van Keimpema, explained: Reducing the EU’s overall milk quota for the year 09/10 by 5 per cent as an immediate temporary measure is necessary to rebalance the milk market. Besides the existing quota has to be applied in a more flexible way which allows to adapt the milk offer to the market demand so that fair prices for farmers and consumers become possible.

Low prices put the dairy farmers in existential danger

The costs of producing milk amount to approximately 40 eurocent per litre. In many countries, however, the price paid out to milk producers is no more than 21 eurocent/litre. “EU politicians must take action. Turning a blind eye and using subsidies to patch up the old system will not remedy the disastrous situation on the milk market”, says EMB member Fredy de Martines. Farmers’ anger is mounting in all European countries. Among others, the continuous decline in milk prices has given rise to weeks of on-going protests in France. “Milk producers are no longer prepared to accept that their farms are bled to death”, says Romuald Schaber, EMB President.

In their final summit declaration the 19/6/2009, the EU heads of state and government mandated the Commission and Ministers of Agriculture to outline measures in order to solve the crisis. The heads of government have hence acknowledged the gravity of the problem. This is a first tangible result of the impressive EMB rally in Brussels involving 1,000 tractors and 3000 farmers last Thursday and Friday in Brussels. However, urgent action is needed immediately, not after the summer recess. “This would mean the death of many farms. Action must be taken now. This is the task for the EU Ministers of Agriculture holding their regular meeting today in Luxemburg, to reduce the quota volume as first step to face the crisis”, explains EMB President Schaber.

Between 1 and 3pm hundreds of dairy farmers of EMB will be in front of the ministers' meeting place in  Luxembourg-Kirchberg to show their determination to reduce volume to achieve fair prices. With their art cows Faironika you can recognise them easily. If you wish an interview with one of the country representatives you can phone Mrs. Silvia Däberitz at 0049/1634497173.

Contact in Luxembourg:
Sieta van Keimpema (NL, DE, EN): 0031/612168000
Fredy de Martines (DE, FR) : 00352/691998831 
Silvia Däberitz (DE, EN, ES): 0049/1634497173

In the office:
Sonja Korspeter (DE, FR, EN, ES): 0049/23814360495

Photos in high quality now available on the web site of EMB

Link to the photo gallery of DDB

EMB Ultimatum decided on 25/5/2009 in Brussels

Link to French web site on milk strike

2.500-3000 farmers at manifestation in  front of the minsiters' meeting place in Luxembourg, present also representatives of the Eastern member states, about 200 farmers from the Czech Republic, for example.


Press release EU-council




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