More than 15,000 milk producers in more than 10 European countries recently joined demonstrations for fair milk prices.
Uniting under the slogan 'Flexible volume regulation for fair milk prices', the milk producers rallied with tractors and dairy cows in front of political institutions, and handed over letters of demand to members of parliament, ministers and heads of government.
European Milk Board president, Romuald Schaber, said: “The excess supply of milk has resulted in existence threatening milk prices in the whole EU. We urgently need to rebalance supply and demand. For dairy farmers to be able to do so in a coordinated way, politicians are called upon to adapt existing provisions.”
The demonstrations follow several protests that have taken place across Europe this year, and were preceded by numerous protests in the whole of Europe. In early 2009, Greek, Latvian and Bulgarian farmers took to the streets to protest against unfair prices. 8,000 Slovak, Austrian, Polish, German, Hungarian, Slovenian and Lithuanian dairy farmers gathered in the Czech Republic in March. In April, more than 5,000 people rallied in Madrid to draw the public’s attention to the disastrous situation in many areas of agriculture, and the total lack of perspectives for farmers.
Sieta van Keimpema, member of the EMB Executive Committee from the Netherlands, said: “Milk requires stable framework conditions. It's a special product, it's available each day, and you cannot just stop production for a few days or weeks. When dairy farmers stop producing, they go out of production for good and the consumers in the respective region are no longer supplied with local milk.“
Schaber added: “Pursuing the liberalisation strategy means abandoning supply control and external protection. This constitutes a great danger, not only for farms, it also jeopardises the provision of the population with high-quality products."
The European dairy farmers are calling upon politicians to jointly elaborate a concept to preserve milk production in Europe in future.
Source: European Milk Board
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