Events planned as EMB ramps up opposition to storage aid

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Campaigns are being set for May 7 to protest against EU measures. Pic: EMB
Campaigns are being set for May 7 to protest against EU measures. Pic: EMB

Related tags EMB Dairy Milk coronavirus COVID-19

The European Milk Board (EMB) says several campaigns are planned for May 7 to protest against what it says are misguided measures by the European Commission.

“The decision to address the milk crisis with the activation of private storage aid and without coordinated production cuts at EU level is wrong,”​ Erwin Schöpges, president of the EMB.

The EMB said that while the EU market is flooded with milk and prices are in a downward spiral, an EU-wide reduction in the amount of milk produced is the only thing that could bring market relief.

Putting processed products like milk powder, butter and cheese in storage will not reduce the price pressure for dairy farmers as those products remain part of the excess supply of milk products, the EMB argued.

“We are going to strongly express our disappointment at this current misguided decision on May 7, with milk campaigns in many European countries,”​ Schöpges said.

EMB vice-president Sieta van Keimpema said a volume reduction scheme must be coordinated by the EU if it is to have a comprehensive effect.

May 7 campaigns:

Belgium​: Milk Campaigns

Where: Flanders (exact location tbc) and Wallonia (Rue du Flament 16, 7090 Braine-le-Comte)

Germany​: Construction of a big milk powder pyramid in Berlin

France​: Milk powder campaigns on fields in several regions (Hauts-de-France, Grand Est region, Normandy, Pays de la Loire and South West France)

Italy​: Milk powder campaign

Where: Cremona and South Tyrol: Milk powder campaign on a farm, Paulihof, Fröhlichgasse 2, 39024 Mals, South Tyrol

Denmark​: Milk powder spraying campaign

Where: 60 Vittarpvej 6855 Outrup

Lithuania​: Milk powder campaign near Kaunas

Luxembourg​: Milk powder campaign

“The EU has also temporarily allowed organizations such as interbranch and producer organizations (IBOs/POs) to plan production reductions (according to article 222 of the CMO Regulation), but in the current crisis situation, this is of no use.”

The EMB said that existing producer organizations are funded by their members. In order to implement voluntary production cuts with compensation for every liter not produced, it is necessary to raise funds. It said that as producers do not have funds to spare, especially as they are in crisis yet again, the funds earmarked by the Commission for private storage aid should be used for a coordinated EU-wide voluntary volume reduction scheme instead.

“We have informed the European Commission, the EU Parliament and the national Ministers about the very difficult circumstances that producers are currently facing and have warned them that the dairy market will collapse unless effective measures are activated,”​ Schöpges said.

“However, once again, the current decision will lead to milk powder and butter pile up in storage, pushing producers into a severe crisis yet again.

“Why won't they learn from past mistakes?”

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