Latest from Brussels

EU milk farmers calling for solidarity

The European Milk Board calls for a European Union that acts in favour of the common good and well-being of its citizens and shows solidarity while upholding peace and harmony. EU agricultural policy cannot be used as a tool to pit European producers against each other! […]

Latest from Brussels

Milk crisis: 3 Reasons why the Commission are at Fault

ARC2020 exclusive: Part one two by André Pfimlin, translated from French by ARC2020’s Samuel Feret and Peter Crosskey. In part one, Andre outlines the milk crisis: part two, to be released tomorrow morning, suggests solutions. #MilkCrisis   “Since the long term market perspectives are good for animal products and since Europe has significant potential for growing milk production, we should produce more and export more”, said European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. “We must accelerate the modernisation and consolidation of livestock farmholdings to make them more productive and more competitive”, a Copa-Cogeca vice-president said recently (1). In 2015, just like 2009, at the height of yet another milk crisis the line is the same out of Brussels, be it from the European Commission or Copa-Cogeca. For our policymakers, dreaming of unlimited export trade for decades to come, the short-term volatility of world prices takes a back seat. It is down to the livestock farmers to anticipate market volatility and either build up reserves when prices are high or take out private insurance policies. So there will be […]

Latest from EU Member States

Milk Price Plummet Sees Farmers Seething

Farmer protests are spreading around Europe, with six roads blockaded in France, along with food trucks carrying imported produce turned back. The UK is now seeing protests congest motorways there too. The A50 road protest has focused more on milk than the French protests. The UK’s largest farmer organisation the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), have not backed these occurrences. A spark in the UK was a further milk price drop. Arla Foods amba, a co-operative owned by 3000 diary farmers, announced yet another cut in price paid, reducing the standard litre price to 23.01 pence per litre, or about 32 euro cents. Dairy farmers are growing increasingly frustrated by the milk price crises. All across the EU, prices are plummeting. In Ireland, the price is 10-12 cent lower than the same time in 2014, typically 28c per litre from some companies, with similar stories  from Germany, Lithuania and elsewhere on the Continent. “We should have learned our lesson by now, but we keep producing ever more milk, anticipating Russia and China to re-enter the market, whilst farm-gate milk prices […]

Latest from key partners

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, […]

Main stories

Ending Milk Quota: Corporate Giants the Real Winners

Guest post by Siobhan o Donoghue of Uplift The milk quota system across Europe came to an end on April 1st. Listening to the dominant media and political commentary in Ireland you could be forgiven for thinking that this landmark event heralds the beginning of great things for farming and farmers. In fact the ending of the famous milk quota system just accelerates the race to the bottom for sustainable farming. The deregulation of milk production risks destabilising the market. Farmers will find it harder to secure a fair price for milk as corporate businesses become more powerful and gain more control of the market. Smaller farming families will find it more difficult to stay in business and out of debt because of inevitable fluctuations in milk prices. The Irish government’s Food Harvest 2020 Strategy predicts that milk production will increase by 50% with the removal of milk quotas. Agriculture is Ireland’s largest contributor to overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for over 30% of our total GHG emissions. By 2020, emissions from the agriculture […]

Main stories

European Milk Board on the end of quota

After 1 April, the European milk market will have no operating safety net. For the dairy farmers in Europe this means more, worse crises and falling prices in future. Many of them will have to give up milk production completely; regions throughout Europe will be affected. As milk production will no longer be possible in many regions, consumers will have fewer possibilities in future for buying regional products. The diversity of dairy products will vanish. That is why the dairy farmers are demanding that the European politicians put in place a working crisis system enabling crises to be predicted and prevented. The “Market Responsibility Programme” (MRP) could be the solution. What can dairy farmers expect after the beginning of April? On 31 March 2015, the milk quotas that have operated for more than 30 years will come to an end – the system for the time after that evinces considerable deficiencies. It is to be assumed that dairy farmers in many EU countries will initially step up production. Demand will not be able to absorb […]