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Dairy report: maintaining farmers' incomes a priority


22 Jul 2009


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

The dairy sector continues to be in the throes of a crisis, with milk prices struggling to remain at
1993 levels. The Commission can no longer afford to wait, and must take urgent action by using intervention and other measures, in line with the mandate bestowed upon it by the Council.

According to Mr Walshe, the President of Copa, "This is an extremely acute crisis which will not
have gone away by 31 December 2009. The Council must therefore be consistent and put forward
a budget for 2010 which will ensure the dairy sector's survival."

Copa and Cogeca also ask that the Commission put in place measures to stimulate the consumption of dairy products. As Mr Van Dijk, the President of Cogeca, explained, "Dairy
products form part of our food culture and neither European farmers nor their cooperatives can
find a solution in reducing their production potential.The promotion of dairy products is now more urgent than ever.

Finally, the Commission has also proposed a mid-term debate, mentioning market transparency and fair competition. Copa and Cogeca consider this to be a good springboard for discussion.

The Council of Agriculture Ministers must give out a clear message in favour of fair competition on the dairy market. To this end, prices and margins must be made transparent. Farmers, who are the weakest link in the food chain, must be granted a stronger position. The issue of
analogue cheese must also be resolved to ensure that consumers are no longer mislead.

For more information, please contact:

Arnaud Petit
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 03

Simon Michel-Berger
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836