One year after the end of milk quotas: assessing the destruction, accountability nowhere in sight

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Brussels, 1 April 2016

In light of the anniversary of the removal of milk quotas

ECVC demands political responsibilities from those who decided and supported the removal of milk quotas because of the devastation, hardship and death it has brought upon thousands of farms in Europe.

A year after the elimination of the quota system, laid bare the lies and siren songs given to the European dairy sector, the situation cannot be bleaker.

To this severe and unprecedented situation, not only suffered today by small and medium farms but large ones as well, we can add the ineffectiveness, procrastination and hypocrisy being used today by those policy makers responsible for eliminating the quota system, very well aware of the dire consequences they would bring to the dairy sector.

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Incapable of responding to the dairy crisis, the European Commission faces international peasant farmer delegation

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3 March 2016, Brussels

A delegation of member organisations of the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), from Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium, met yesterday the cabinet of Commissioner of agriculture Phil Hogan to express its impressions regarding the dramatic situation suffered by dairy producers and present its approach to end the crisis.

ECVC has made the alarming assessment that the dairy sector faces serious difficulties. Between 1984 and 2011 Europe lost 80% of its dairy producers. In 15 years, the size of the agriculture exploitation in Europe has more than doubled. ECVC is sounding the alarm: we cannot accept that the adjustment of milk production in Europe nowadays be made by eliminating thousands of dairy farmers.

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European dairy farmers facing an untenable situation since 2014

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-02-15-yacineFRpaquet_lait.jpgTo the Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture

 Brussels, 11th February 2016


Dear Martijn VAN DAM,

On the occasion of the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture to be held next week in Brussels, ECVC wants to share with you its major concern regarding the unprecedented deep crisis European dairy producers are facing. It is our intention that on February 15th immediate action is taken within the Council to remedy this situation.

Since mid-2014, European dairy farmers are facing an untenable situation. Due to the prospect of deregulated dairy markets in the EU (taken on by most EU Member States), and the elimination of the milk quota system in April 2015, the volumes of milk offered in most European countries began to increase. The out-of-control surplus state of affairs we are in has been aggravated by the conduct of some dairies industries and companies of European distribution. Their abuse of the dominant position in the food supply chain has been reinforced as a result of the removal of the quota system- a decision whose terrible consequences for producers have not been curbed through the implementation of the Milk Package.

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Citizens and consumers are changing says Hanny van Geel at ISS Conference

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-02-08-Hanny_ISS.jpgBelow is the speech delivered by Hanny van Geel at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) colloquium on Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges. 4-5 February 2016, The Hague, Netherlands

I am rooted in farming, until 5 years ago I have spent all my life on a farm. My parents had a mixed farm. With my husband we had an organic farm with vegetables.

My first political act was in 1974 writing protest slogans on old bedsheets and paper that we attached to my father’s tractor. He and his colleagues were going to block the roads the next day. It was on the national news and in the newspapers. 30,000 farmers were in the streets for protest.

My father and the other farmers were in protest for the lowering of the price of wheat. In that period new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was going to be adapted and the fixed prices and import protection were going to be lowered. At that time the wheat price was €0.25/kg.

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