A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Crisis in the dairy sector : A warning shot for the European Commission

February 2, 2015

Agritel––a firm specialized in agricultural and agribusiness market strategies–– recently stated that Europe will not be in a position to reject the globalization of its dairy sector. Yet, while it will have to adhere to this opinion, there are some real concerns regarding the means it will have to confront it next spring.

Such concerns were expressed in Brussels this past January 27. The European Parliament’s AGRI Committee conducted a hearing on the consequences of the recent “Milk Package”, and the outlook for the dairy sector after the imminent elimination of the quota system. Representatives from the dairy sector and experts from academia were invited to present their views on the upcoming crisis in dairy markets.

There was some confusion when the various speakers focused on the future of the European dairy industry. While all participants seemed to acknowledge the extreme volatility of markets, some tensions between the Commission and some MEPs focused on the reality of a milk crisis. In fact, even if Commissioner Phil Hogan’s representative attending the hearing admitted to be surprised by the recent price collapse, there is no crisis.

Yet the outlook is far from promising. MEP Marc Tarabella warned that following the end of quotas “there will be a milk tsunami on European markets, in which weaker farmers will be drowned, much to the discontent of European agriculture, short term job creation and consumers.

Most of all, if the “Milk Package” finally showed its limitations––an observation widely shared by most participants––which are the options at stake? If, as the European Commission predicts it, a milk crisis will not occur, and thus no other measure than those included in the new CAP will be required, how will farmers concretely deal with the milk market intrinsic instability?

Some participants ventured to answer this urgent question. Marc Tarabella noted that the EU is one of the rare agricultural powers to still decouple subsidies, while on the contrary others are recoupling them. Eric Andrieu, who advocated recoupling subsidies under a counter-cyclical system and learning from the American Farm Bill to find pertinent solutions, shares this view. For Sieta van Keimpema, Vice President of the European Milk Board (EMB), we need (yet to be defined) tools to perform in times of crisis. That is why the organization proposes the implementation of a Market Responsibility Program (MRP).

The countdown is on. While the hearing allowed exposing the challenges facing the European dairy sector, the Commission’s lack of preparedness is worrisome. It can only be hoped that the initiative report by MEP James Nicholson (ECR, UK) to be issued at the end of February provides strong and convincing alternatives to effectively guide Brussels for its future post-2015 dairy policy.

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Paris, 24 June 2019