Milk producers could be out of business by winter - warning

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Copa and Cogeca warned at the EU Milk Market Observatory meeting this week that the EU dairy market situation has deteriorated rapidly in the past four weeks, and without EU action, many producers will be forced out of business by Winter.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Milk Working Party Mansel Raymond said the market is in a much more perilous state than it was four weeks ago, with producer prices far below production costs. “It’s a critical situation for many dairy farmers across Europe,” he added.

“The EU Commission must act to improve the situation short term so that producers can meet demand which is expected to rise in the medium term. With 88% of milk produced in the EU intended for domestic consumption, the situation must also be taken seriously by all participants in the supply chain. If retailers continue to force prices down, they will see a big exodus of milk producers causing increased volatility on the market. We need a commitment from them on this. A loss of production capacity in the milk sector would also disturb the meat market,” he warned

Outlining key measures, he said: “We want the EU Commission to allow Member States to advance the direct payments before the 1st of December. Around 700 million € will also be taken out of the dairy sector as a result of the 2014/2015 milk superlevy bill at a time when dairy farmers desperately need cash. This should therefore be returned to the sector to help farmers with their cash flow problems. The EU intervention price must also be increased to put a floor in the market. Last set in 2008, it is nowhere near production costs. Without these measures, we will no longer have a viable dairy sector in the future to meet growing demand and ensure consumers have a balanced, nutritious diet”. #dairyaction