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.
Focus on issues

Crisis in agriculture: Return to reality Mr. Commissioner,
20 percent of French farms will not survive the turmoil

Press release of the EPP Group of the European Parliament

In late September, the ViEUws web-TV station broadcasted an interview with Phil Hogan in which he stated “I do not believe that many farmers are producing below production costs”, thus provoking the resentment and anger from all French unions, which were schocked by the Commissioner’s stubborn blindness. While Phil Hogan did defend himself later at the French Senate on October 8, the fact of the matter is that this allegation corroborates the European Commission’s state of mind and position since the onset of the dairy crisis.

That was all it took for Michel Dantin, MEP and Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, to react and write a letter to the Commissioner, with figures supporting that the movement of dairy farm bankruptcies really does exist
1. The MEP quotes the French diary inter-branch organization’s records indicating that €30 to €40 per 1,000-liter output are missing to cover production costs. In this context, 20 percent of French dairy farms will not survive the crisis. Michel Dantin feels that one of the urgent solutions would be to raise intervention prices, a measure to which Phil Hogan is opposed.

Today, the seriousness of the crisis is moving beyond union considerations alone, and is also not only European but global. Confronted to the Commission’s wait-and-see attitude and denial, it is now more than ever urgent to initiate a new strategic course, if we do not want to see the CAP fail and be carried away by a crisis that is now difficult to surmount without pertinent measures.

momagri Editorial Board

“The recent statements by Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan are showing a lack of awareness on the realities in the agricultural community. At a time when our farmers are in a total state of turmoil, how can one accept that anyone questions the gravity of the dairy crisis? If Mr. Hogan needs figures, I will provide them!” declared Michel Dantin, a member of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament.

The Agriculture Commissioner recently said in an interview that he did not believe that the output of many dairy farmers was below production costs. He also declared that he did not have any figure indicating a tendency in dairy farm bankruptcies.

“According to the figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and the inter-branch organization, dairy farmers have been producing below production costs since last March. An average of €30 to €40 are missing per 1,000-liter output. As they cope with costs and unprofitable selling prices, 10 percent of French dairy farms––or 40,000 direct jobs––are already facing bankruptcy and 20 percent will go out of business between now and the end of the crisis,” said the MEP.

Although the European Commission presented a package of direct support and subsidies for private reserves of dairy products in September, it still refuses to propose an increase in the public intervention price on markets.

“Saying that affecting intervention prices goes against the spirit of the new common agricultural policy is a nonsense, since this policy maintains the possibility to adopt a dynamic management of markets and of periods of crisis. But one must stop to deal in ideology and use the existing legislative and regulatory means!” concluded Michel Dantin.

Considering that Commissioner Hogan was surely lacking the facts, Michel Dantin gave him a letter that included a set of data collected from “field” studies.

1 We are publishing below the press release issued by the EPP Group of the European Parliament available from:

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Paris, 18 June 2019