The BDM and the EMB also organized a demonstration and protest at the meeting venue of EU Agriculture Ministers to demand a holistic approach on sustainability.
Erwin Schöpges, Belgian dairy farmer and EMB president, said the actions in Koblenz send an important message to EU Ministers.
“We European dairy farmers are ready to do our part for greater environmental and climate protection as well as better animal welfare,” Schöpges said.
“However, we can only afford greater environmental sustainability when the social and economic aspects are also given the same degree of consideration. It is the only way to ensure that farms stay in business and that young farmers have future prospects.”
During the demonstration at the Rhein-Mosel Hall, the meeting venue for the Agriculture Ministers, Sieta van Keimpema, the EMB vice-president from the Netherlands, said, “It is also essential that European standards are not undermined by imports from third countries. A comprehensive sustainability strategy must prevent product dumping. This is only possible if agricultural products are excluded from Free Trade Agreements.”
French dairy farmer and EMB executive committee member Boris Gondouin, said, “A comprehensive sustainability strategy also includes a milk price where you can earn a living. However, we see a chronic shortfall in cost coverage across Europe due to excessively low prices. The coronavirus pandemic was just one more in an entire string of crises that has pushed producer prices to rock-bottom.”
Johannes Pfaller, EMB executive committee member and dairy farmer from Germany, said, “Effective crisis instruments and a reorientation of EU agricultural policy are the only way to ensure the continued production of high-quality milk products. We must move away from the current cheap and more model, where producers are forced to cheaply produce agricultural raw materials at their own cost, and move toward real socially, economically and environmentally sustainable production.
“If you truly want to strive for sustainability in Europe and want to successfully implement the currently proposed strategies like the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, then you have to work with farmers and not against them. Meet with us and let’s work together to ensure the sector’s future.”