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February 5 2008


Coordination Paysanne Européenne

European Farmers Coordination

Coordinadora Campesina Europea

Members of Via Campesina

Brussels, February 5th, 2008

Milk : Call for maintaining supply management

in the European Union beyond 2015

For fair and stable prices and a sustainable milk production

The European Farmers Coordination (CPE), which includes some twenty farmers’ organisations in Europe and COAG, majoritarian farmers’ organisation in Spain
the farmers’ and agrarian organisations,
the rural organisations
the workers of dairy industry,
the consumption, environmental, animal welfare, development NGOs,…
the members of the European Parliament,
who are in favour of market regulation and fair and stable agricultural prices
to act together towards the EU governments to:

• maintain the European milk supply management beyond 2015 by maintaining the production quotas and improving their implementation,
• stop exports of dairy products at prices below production costs and, in exchange, to prevent low-priced imports.
• promote a sustainable milk production in terms of quality, environment, climate, social justice, animal welfare.

The EU Agriculture Ministers will decide at the end of 2008 how to adapt the EU dairy policy following the 2003 reform, in the scope of the CAP "health check" proposed by the European Commission. The increased instability of agricultural markets and the increasing volatility of prices are incompatible with the maintenance of sustainable human-scale dairy farms in all regions of Europe where milk production has good natural conditions.
The recent increase of milk price (provisional if the EU decides to increase the quotas), after so many years of decrease, and the current tensions on the market are a good reason to regulate the market and not to let it derive towards fewer increasingly large and intensive milk farms.
The milk quotas, of which modalities can be improved, of which level can vary according the market situation, are indispensable tools to balance the markets and to provide stable prices for both producers and consumers.
We must therefore maintain the milk quotas beyond 2015 and not commit to an increase in European production: EU already produces more than the EU consumption.
We remind that a qualified majority of the ministers in the Agricultural Council is necessary to achieve this.