"We must improve future stability in the dairy sector"
"We have to learn the lessons from last year's crisis in the dairy sector", said Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, at the European Parliament on the 9 of December, presenting a set of measures aiming to rebalance the bargaining power of the dairy producers within the food chain . "Future stability in this sector has to be improved, especially in the context of the end of dairy quotas in 2015", underlined M. Cioloş.
To this end, the European Commission's proposal includes 4 key elements: introducing written contracts between producers and processors; allowing producers to negotiate collectively these contracts under a certain limit (3.5% of global EU raw milk production, nor more than 33% of national production) ; enhancing inter-branch organisations giving the possibility for different parts of the supply chain to coordinate action on issues such as research or improving quality; increasing the transparency of the market with regular information on volumes of raw milk delivered.
The measures stem from the recommendations issued by the High Level Experts' Group on Milk (HLG) and endorsed by the Council's Presidency conclusions of 27 September 2010. These measures are proposed to remain valid until 2020, with a review in 2014 and 2018.