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Exceptional EU dairy crisis requires an exceptional and urgent response


25 May 2009


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Copa-Cogeca, the voice of European farmers and agri-cooperatives, is calling for an urgent response from the Council and the Commission to the current EU dairy market crisis. Farm gate prices for milk have fallen sharply across Europe, putting unbearable strain on farming families.

Urgent measures must therefore be taken to combat this exceptional market situation. Padraig Walshe, President of Copa, said “The prices of EU dairy products are lower today than in 1997, while our costs remain very high. Production costs must come down and we farmers are
doing our part towards this end. The current crisis, however, is also caused by a strong decline in EU dairy exports. We therefore need immediate help to stimulate the market.”

Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca, explained, “The Commission must also allow the market management tools of intervention buying and export refunds to be more widely used.

Aid to use butter for ice cream and pastries needs to be maintained. We need support to use skimmed milk powder in animal feed. The single farm payment must be brought forward to August this year. Finally, the Commission should also strengthen measures to promote the
consumption of dairy products.”

President Walshe concluded by saying, “Every second farm in Europe is involved in dairy production one way or the other, 60% of them in less-favoured areas. If nothing is done to help them, the rural economy will be depressed for a long time. The farmers and agri-cooperatives within Copa-Cogeca have done their part and made concrete suggestions. It is now up to the Council and the Commission to act.

For further information, please contact:
Noá Simón
Policy Advisor
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Simon Michel-Berger
Press Officer
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