European dairy farmers installed a milk lake in front of the European parliament in protest at falling milk prices.
The European Milk Board (EMB), which represents 100,000 dairy farmers across the EU, is calling for a programme of voluntary reductions in production which would allow producers to cut milk output by up to 25% of their quota.
Under their proposals, there would also be financial compensation for the value of the production lost. . .
Hundreds of EMB members travelled to Brussels from countries including Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands to join in the protest against the mismanagement of the milk market.
The group said overproduction on the European milk market is leading to a drastic fall in milk prices and leading directly to the next milk crisis.
EMB said the surplus of milk in the market was pushing prices to the floor and the survival of farms could not be guaranteed this way.
Under CAP reform, European dairy farmers are calling for the introduction of a voluntary supply constraint and the setting up of a European Monitoring Agency, to restore the balance between supply and demand.
EMB president Romuald Schaber said: “The only way to alleviate the situation is to reduce production, preferably by a voluntary supply constraint in the short term.”
The root of the problem is quotas and subsidies not the balance between supply and demand.
When we were in Europe last month we met dairy farmers who wanted to increase production but would have to buy quota which would make it very expensive.
We got the impression good farmers were looking forward to the end of the quotas and subsidies? Then they would be farming to produce what the market wanted rather than being dictated to by bureaucrats and politicians.
The transition to a free market will be painful for some, as it was in New Zealand. But it will be better in the long run for both producers and consumers when the market sorts out supply and demand.