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Agriculture Council: EU Ministers must take urgent action to help the dairy sector

Date

07 Sep 2009

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

In the wake of the drastic situation facing EU dairy farmers, Copa and Cogeca call on EU Farm Ministers to agree on urgent measures to help improve the difficult market situation and to prevent EU dairy producers from going out of business.

Since march 2009, European farmers have been suffering from the devastating effects of the economical crisis in the dairy sector. The milk price has fallen sharply by 40% recently, plummeting to the same level as 1992. Before the end of this year, European dairy producers will lose over 10 billion Euros if nothing is done to help rebalance the milk market.

In view of this drastic situation and without any recovery foreseen in the short term by the EU
Commissions’ study , Copa and Cogeca request the EU Council to give a clear mandate to the Commission to apply as a priority market measures to the full. Speaking on behalf of the European Agricultural Organisations to the President of the Agriculture Council, Padraig Walshe, President of Copa, insisted, “We are facing a European problem, and only a common European action will help us overcome it.”

Copa and Cogeca consequently reiterate their demands for EU-wide action to help improve the market situation. These include strong market support measures, especially in public intervention and in export refunds on dairy produce. They also involve measures to help stimulate demand, such as widening the scope of the European school milk scheme.

These measures will be the only solution in the medium to long-run which help ensure a future to the sector in the EU. Copa and Cogeca also welcome the latest initiative taken by some Member States to find new ways to solve the crisis.

Padraig Walshe stressed “This is an extremely acute crisis. European farmers cannot wait for a new political round table discussion. All operators of the dairy sector expect a clear political decision to ensure the balance of EU market and support any initiatives in this way”. Cogeca
President Gert Van Dijk added “ The Commission must also develop measures to strengthen producers position in the food chain in a bid to reduce supermarkets monopoly powers”.

For further information, please contact:

Pekka Pesonen
Secretary General
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 32

Amanda. Cheesley
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836
Amanda.cheesley@copa-cogeca.eu

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