1000 Cow Factory Farms- Milk crisis

Press Release – Brussels, 16th June 2015

European Coordination of Via Campesina stands in solidarity with the farmers protest taking place around Europe.

European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) supports the demonstration of farmers that will take place on 17 June in Amiens, France, and is in solidarity with the activists put on trial there. The struggle against the “1000 cow factory farm”, for which those on trial are being persecuted, has become an important symbol of the global fight against the industrialization of the agriculture.

The distorted competition created by factory farms holds multiple risks for farmers livelihoods, rural employment, food quality and the environment. Factory farms drive down prices by exploiting workers, livestock and the environment – costs for which they do not pay. In addition their investments drive up the cost of land, denying local farmers and new entrants access to agricultural land. These crimes are paid for by European taxes and supported by public policies such as CAP subsidies, investment support and prices guaranteed for the energy from bio-gas and photovoltaic all while destroying the peasant family farming. At the same time, the dismantling of the European milk quota system makes it even harder for family farmers to secure an honest livelihood and pitches small dairy farms into direct competition with factory farms that retain a price advantage only by externalising their costs onto the public.

ECVC opposes globalized systems which deprive farmers of their autonomy to benefit multinational companies and the short-term profit driven logic of the finance world. The current development model is failing to meet the fundamental challenges of climate change and leaves the door open to further market liberalization policies that lead to price volatility and free-trade agreements, in particular with the United States, which ignores the farmers welfare, the democracy rules, the situation of the developing countries and the consumers.

ECVC defends the “peasant model” of development, based on self-governance, food sovereignty, healthy and quality food production and public welfare. We see this model as the only way to ensure vitality in rural areas, much needed employment, public health and the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.

Finally, ECVC stands alongside the farmers that are mobilising to manifest their opposition to the current development model, including the Portuguese dairy farmers who will march on the 26 of June in Aveiro.

Press Contacts:

José Miguel Pacheco Gonçalves (PT, ES) (00351 968721995)

Isabel Vilalba (ES) (0034 608905444)

Victor Pereira (FR) (0033(0)611391073/0033 143621033)