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Appeal of ECVC-EMB to demonstrate on July 12th for a real reform of the existing milk policy!

11 July 2010

Appeal to all European producers to demonstrate on July 12th for a real reform of the existing milk policy! The recommendations of High Level Expert Group (HLG) of the 27 EU member states, published on the 15th of June, do not yield a solution of the current crisis and will worsen the situation of European milk producers further. Once more the HLG chose to listen to the dairy industry instead of producers and consumers. Milk producers need stable and fair milk prices that cover their average production costs. Consumers need stable and fair milk prices that reflect the real costs of producers, processing industry and retail. The additional amount charged by processing industry and retail has to be distributed fair and transparently among all members of the milk chain. What is the problem with the recommendations of the HLG? The report of the HLG states that the existing safety net is sufficient. If this were the case, tens of thousands of milk producers all over Europe would not, however, have had to give up their farms in recent years and many more would currently not fear for their existence. There will be no sustainable solution without a regulation of the milk production and the dairy market. The future does neither lie in the contractualisation and a futures market as proposed by the HLG, nor in the world market or the restructuring of production and dairies. The future lies in a demand-oriented production with cost-covering prices and a market with equal players. A sustainable milk production also requires Europe to strength its animal feed production. Conctractualisation on a voluntary basis as proposed by the HLG will not regulate the production and will not lead to fair prices for producers and consumers. It is already possible for producers to have contracts. However, because of their weak bargaining power, these contracts are not fair. Contractualisation marks the end of a European milk policy and leaves decisions to member states and dairies. The EU should analyse the current situation in Switzerland carefully; it was this very policy that has led to overproduction, conflicts and falling prices. Price volatility is not inevitable. It is rather the result of political decisions aimed at integrating Europe into the deregulated world market. Price volatility is particularly harmful for milk producers, who have to make long-term investments. Europe has to stop exporting its dairy products at prices below the production costs. This is important for European producers as well as producers in third countries. Providing consumers with high-quality dairy products with transparent prices has to be the priority. Let’s go to Brussels! The European Council of Ministers of Agriculture will discuss the findings of the HLG on the 12th of July and the European Parliament on the 13th of July. EMB and ECVC call on both political bodies to reject the proposals of the HLG. ECVC and EMB appeal to all milk producers, all other farmers, as well as consumers to demonstrate for another European milk policy on the 12th of July in Brussels. NO TO THE PROPOSALS OF THE HLG - JOINT FORCES- FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY FOR FAIR CONDITIONS ON THE MILK MARKET AGAINST EXPORT DUMPING Contact: EMB: www.europeanmilkboard.org, Silvia Däberitz (DE, EN, ES) Tel.: 0049 – 2381 – 4361200 ECVC: Lidia Senra: (ES-PT-FR): +34609845861- Gérard Choplin (FR-EN-DE) : +32 473257378,

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