Copa and Cogeca call on EU Commission to act on critical EU dairy market situation

Copa and Cogeca underlined the critical situation on the EU milk market in a meeting with the EU Commission today, warning that producer prices are below production costs and action is vital.

Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Milk Working Party Mansel Raymond warned “Today we have low prices all across the EU, with farmers producing below production costs, leading to severe cash flow problems and some of members in the working party warned they could go out of business unless action is taken. At the same time, farmers are being confronted with an 800 million euros super-levy bill. We therefore urge the Commission to ensure that money from the superlevy stays in the sector. This decision must be made quickly to alleviate the difficult situation. Given these difficult times, EU measures to help manage the market – EU public intervention and private storage – must also be made more efficient. An increase in the EU milk intervention price must be seriously looked at.

After a presentation on a Market responsibility Programme within the Civil Dialogue Group on Milk, members of Copa and Cogeca Working Party on Milk and Dairy Products warned that it would be totally unworkable and impractical and rejected it outright.

Extreme market volatility meanwhile remains an issue to be addressed. Taking some volatility out of the market is essential. Several systems have been analysed by the Copa and Cogeca Working Party ranging from the Margin Protection System in the US, futures markets, fixed price contracts, flexible contracts (A and B-type payment). These all need to be further investigated and a Copa and Cogeca seminar could be organised in the future to address voluntary options. Farmers need to have individual choice, of a voluntary nature.

Wrapping up, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen underlined the need to ensure a level playing field in the bilateral free trade talks between the EU and US vis a vis the cost of legal protecting the EU’s names (geographical indications (GIs) which protect quality produce from imitations.

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