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

The dairy crisis is gaining ground in Europe

July 27, 2015


The crisis in livestock farming––especially dairy farming––is gripping France, and confirms the reality of a discontent at the European level. The situation has become all the more critical as tensions between European breeders are rising. The Germans and the Spaniards are accusing France of anti-competitive practices (possibly due to the Government’s measures implemented to assist livestock farmers––particularly the national preference for French milk––as well as the blocking German and Spanish trucks at border crossings to France).

This new turmoil bitterly reminds us of the 2009 crisis, and voices are already being heard to predict it could become quite worse. Prices have fallen not only in France but the domino effect is reaching across the Union. Plummeting prices are also concerning England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Finland. In addition, further declines are expected for August in Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. As a result:
    - In France, AgriMer is stating that milk is paid to farmers at around €0.30 per liter, that is to say close to €0.10 less than a year ago, while production costs have increased since.

    - Germany, in spite of its rank as Europe’s top dairy power, was calm until recently, and posted a price at €0.29 per liter in June, instead of €0.41 eighteen months ago. In the former GER, prices even fell to €0.25 per liter.

    - In Belgium, the price of a liter of milk currently paid to Walloon farmers approximates €0.25, while production charges––excluding labor cost––are estimated at €0.33. In mid-2014, the price of liter paid to farmers was still flirting around €0.40.
Since early 2014, the world dairy sector is posting an overproduction situation, due to lower Chinese purchases and Russia’s embargo on European dairy products.

In Europe, the elimination of milk quota this past April has worsened the situation by subjecting farmers, to a lesser or greater intensity, to the erratic fluctuations of markets that are already structurally unstable.

While crisis meetings are more frequent now––in Paris and Frankfurt––the feeling of unease is definitely setting in Europe. In addition to economic condition factors, the inaction of some government is reported, while the measures adopted by other authorities are not enough.

Is it still possible turning to Brussels to hope for an end to the deadlock of the situation? Unfortunately, Brussels is persisting in its “lofty concepts”, and refuses to see the seriousness of the situation, opting at best for minimal measures (purchases of powder milk to resolve surpluses), or at worst for incantatory declarations based on the virtues of market signals, while their latest changes have mostly sped up the deregulation of milk markets.

For some, one of the solutions to gain competitiveness would be finding new markets, especially in emerging nations. But before anything else, it is now urgent to acquire new market instruments at the European level. To Mr. Phil Hogan: How do you expect to manage this first post-quota dairy crisis?


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Paris, 16 December 2018