EMB calls for key reforms in the EU agricultural system and climate strategies

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The European Milk Board’s General Assembly took place in Leuven, Belgium, last week. Pic: EMB
The European Milk Board’s General Assembly took place in Leuven, Belgium, last week. Pic: EMB

Related tags: EMB, Dairy, Milk, Farm to fork, Sustainability

Representatives from 12 European countries gathered last week at the European Milk Board’s (EMB) General Assembly in Leuven, Belgium, to jointly discuss key solutions for the dairy sector.

The EMB said mistakes made in the EU agricultural sector are “increasingly obvious.”

It said milk production is already declining in important production countries, as long-standing cost shortfalls have been driving dairy farmers out of production for years. Against this backdrop, the European milk producers’ representatives said there is a need for a change in strategy to guarantee a future for the sector and dairy farmers.

The EMB said the existing cost pressure, which it blamed on the current export and import strategy, is compounded by the pressure on income created by the current and future environmental strategies such as the Green Deal and “Farm to Fork.”

Milk producer representatives attending the meeting stressed environmental and climate measures are required, but said they have to be thought through.

The unanimous opinion of the General Assembly was that it was imperative for the solutions for the sector to create general framework conditions that guarantee a cost-covering producer price.

The dairy farmer representatives attending highlighted the need for instruments that can temporarily limit production in times of crisis, and for a policy that focuses on the solid financing of sustainability measures. For the farming sector that must mean that all production costs – including the costs of sustainability – are covered and not shifted on to the producers.

EMB president Sieta van Keimpema said, “The CAP reform adopted this year makes the voluntary volume reduction an official instrument for times of crisis in the EU’s Common Market Organisation. This is a first small step on a long way the political decision-makers still have to go along with the farmers to radically reform the current agricultural system.”

The EU sustainability strategies also had to be adapted on the way. We want a climate policy – also, of course, because we farmers are the first to feel the impact of climate change. But it must be affordable and really effective for the environment and climate.”

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