Poland asks EU to provide help for dairy farmers
PR dla Zagranicy
The Ministry of Agriculture has appealed to the European Commission (EC) for assistance to dairy farmers following a persistent decline in the price of milk and the removal of production quotas.
The ministry requested that the EC consider raising its ‘intervention price,’ the price at which EU agencies are obliged to purchase any amount of milk offered to them, regardless of the market situation.
Deputy Minister Tadeusz Nalewajk commented that “the situation on the dairy market is difficult, which is why Poland is appealing to the EC to raise its intervention price for butter and milk powders, as well as appealing for extraordinary assistance for dairy farmers.”
Both a Russian embargo and a general decline in world milk prices has affected Poland, as between January 2014 and January 2015 the price of milk sold by farmers has fallen by 20 percent.
The removal of production quotas on milk at the start of April 2015 is expected to cause further downward pressure on milk prices in the immediate future as farmers increase supply in response.
Although an intervention price mechanism already exists according to Nalewajk this is currently insufficient to help farmers. The average price paid for butter by the intervention mechanism for instance is 40 percent below market price.
Meanwhile Wiesław Żebrowski, director of the Ciechanowska Dairy Cooperative, called the situation among farmers ‘dramatic’ and claimed that they have received as little as PLN 0.7-0.9 (EUR 0.17-0.22) per litre of milk in recent times.
He pointed to the precedent of 2009, where the EU intervened significantly to help farmers following a collapse in milk prices. (sl/nh)