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Milk price drops threaten viability of small to medium sized producers

While global issues inevitably influence milk price and dairy farmer viability, the end of the EU’s milk quota regime has made it especially challenging for small to medium sized dairy farmers to survive.  Milk prices are below 30 cents per litre in many countries. Small to medium sized producers inevitably suffer with such a sudden price drop. For some, increasing acreage and expanding production by going further into debt is the only solution. But this is only a solution for the few, while also having social, environmental and economic consequences for Europe, and rural Europe in particular. According to the Milk Market Observatory’s milk market bulletin from June 2015 “The weighted EU average farm gate milk price decreased in April 2015 by 0.8% to 31.3 c/kg, which is 18% lower than in April 2014 and 6% lower than the average of the last 5 years.” Developments in China and the Russian food embargo have also shaped the price drop. As the Western Daily Express reported on 10th June, this crisis has an impact on real people. Mark Oliver, […]