A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Post-milk quota era: “To observe is fine;
to observe and act is even better!”1

April 28, 2014

“The future of France’s dairy industry hinges on the people who will start operations between now and 2030,” stated Christophe Perrot, an economist with the French Livestock Farming Institute, during a conference on the dairy economy held in Paris on April 15. The future also concerns the post-milk quota era, that is to say the future of the dairy industry after March 31, 2015, and the measures to be decided by the European Union to prepare the sector in managing the elimination of these regulatory tools.

Announced last September during the Dairy Conference by European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos, the European Milk Market Observatory was launched on April 16, together with the implementation of an economic board that will meet with industry leaders on regular to monitor activities. The observatory “will strengthen the Commission’s ability to monitor the milk and dairy market and help the sector adapt to the new environment.”

This is undeniably a first step that was welcomed by the agricultural unions, such as the European Milk Board (EMB), the French Coordination Rurale (CR) and the French Young Farmers’ Union (JA). But we must go even further, since of the key issues will continue to be the upward or downward hyper-volatility of agricultural prices. An especially sensitive challenge for the diary industry, which has been in a state of permanent crisis since 2007, since prices specifically weaken farming incomes and the survival of farms. As indicated by the JA, “Without any tool to anticipate crises, the Observatory will not act as whistleblower, since these warnings will not be echoed at the European level.”

Despite the continuing dissent between member states, concrete, operational and strategic decisions must be made, since we are dealing with the future of the European dairy sector, which is faced with increasing aggressive competition. The French Livestock Farming Institute estimates that the number of dairy farms in France could be reduced threefold by 2035––against 68,000 at the end of 2013––if the number of new farms does not increase. And this in spite of an estimated increase of two percent in milk collection by 2020, particularly due to the rising demand from emerging countries.

How then encourage new farming activities if not a single adequate instrument is provided? Which guarantees will ensure that the dairy industry is able to tackle a protracted crisis, or the risk of price reversals intensified by budgetary constraints dictated by the new CAP?

Regulating to ensure the future of an economic sector and an occupation is indeed an assignment that, we hope, will be recommended by the conclusions of the Commission’s report regarding the implementation of the “Milk Package” to be issued by June 30.

For the time being, there is no credible alternative to the current system based on uncoupled subsidies. Yet, the recent studies conducted by momagri are showing the economic and budgetary relevance of counter-cyclical aid coupled to specific and non-automatic mechanisms to manage markets: the long-lasting stabilization of sales, effective actions to fight volatility and the crisis it generates, as well as the better use of budget resources and a long-term strategy that benefits the agricultural economy.

1 Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA), or French Young Farmers Union.

Page Header
Paris, 24 June 2019