Milk production in Europe under threat as production costs soar beyond sustainable labels

EUROPE – Increasing costs are threatening the survival of dairy farmers and milk production in Europe, the European Milk Board has warned.

The umbrella organization for 20 associations representing dairy farmers in 15 European countries noted that it was concerned about the cost farmers are facing in this upward pricing trend.

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Any increase will result in an extreme rise in the cost of production, given that price of inputs like fertilizers, feed, and energy have all gone up in recent months, EMB said.

According to the board, the price for the rapeseed meal which is normally used by dairy farmers as protein feedstuff has already surpassed 500 euros per tonne in April.

Furthermore, the prices of diesel, maize, and nitrogen fertilizers in Portugal have risen by 62%, 77%, and 140% respectively while in France, energy costs have spiked by over 80% within the course of a year.

These increases are having an impact on the European dairy herd, with an increase in prices of feed prices in Italy and the Netherlands forcing farmers to take dairy cows to slaughter.

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EMB considers the current situation serious and wants immediate actions to be taken to leverage the industry from massive losses in the number of farmers that can be impossible to recover from.

The board is calling on decision-makers to take steps to mitigate the outlook of European dairy farmers and help milk production to become more stable and sustainable in the future.

Through ‘Exploding’ production costs to be covered by prices ‘, EMB is appealing to purchasers and processers to play their roles to deal with the increased cost, especially in milk.

EMB has urged the EU to make social sustainability an urgent priority in its strategies and regulations, in order for ‘Social sustainability in the CAP and the Green Deal’ to be immediately anchored and implemented.

The industry body is calling on the market to contribute to the transformation of the agricultural sector to prevent farmers from exiting the industry.

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EMB is also stressing the establishment of producer organizations to negotiate contracts and prices with processors on behalf of farmers throughout the EU.

Finally, it wants imported agricultural products to be subject to mirror measures on health and environmental standards to ensure that consumers in the EU are always afforded the same level of health and environmental protection.

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