“More farmers, better food”

(Brussels, September 6, 2016)- Today the European Coordination Via Campesina along with the European Milk Board presented their analysis and diagnosis of the current situation faced by the dairy sector -particularly by producers- to the Milk Market Observatory (MMO).

“Industrial diaries are making record profits, said Isabel Vilalba, representing ECVC. Lactalis Iberica, for example, in 2015 tripled its profits compared to the previous year. However, these industries are imposing prices on producers that are always below the average and below production costs. We must end the system of contracts in which prices and conditions are unilaterally imposed by the industry “ reiterated the milk producer from Galicia.

 Pointing to the serious consequences on employment and the vitality of the territories that the on-going drop of milk prices is having on various European countries, Isabel Vilalba, general secretary of the Sindicato Labrego Galego, stressed that the latest voluntary measures put forward by EU institutions to reduce surpluses are far from being capable of curbing the continued increase in milk production and the free fall in prices.

ECVC stressed the great social problem that the disappearance of dairy farms implies in many countries, a tendency that has increased in recent months, like in France where a 4-5% annual rate is expected to go up to 9-10% in 2016; as well as the rise in indebtedness, repossessions,…

Pointing to the flaws of the European Commission’s analysis regarding the dairy sector, our colleagues from the EMB presented a study on production costs in the EU which highlights the huge gap between production costs and the selling price of milk.

Both ECVC and EMB stressed that the problem affecting producers today is structural and not linked to performance. ECVC affirms once more that the solution to the crisis in the milk sector necessarily involves policy measures, such as a public instrument for regulating production at the European level, creating a truly sustainable food production chain, with guarantees of a fair margin at the source and the end of abusive conditions, such as forcing prices below production costs. The defense of efficient and autonomous modes of production as well as of a progressive social model of milk production in different countries is in many cases the only guarantee to healthy and quality food.

Contact: Isabel Vilalba: (Sindicato Labrego Galego – ECVC) 0034 60 890 5444