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The EU dairy sector: Main features, challenges and prospects

17-12-2018

The EU dairy sector is the second biggest agricultural sector in the EU, representing more than 12 % of total agricultural output. While milk is produced in all Member States, farm and herd sizes, yields and types of farming vary widely across Europe, from free-range farming in Alpine areas to large specialised dairy farms in the north-west and centre of Europe. In 2016, 157 million tonnes of milk were delivered to dairies, where raw milk is processed into fresh products such as cheese or butter. ...

The EU dairy sector is the second biggest agricultural sector in the EU, representing more than 12 % of total agricultural output. While milk is produced in all Member States, farm and herd sizes, yields and types of farming vary widely across Europe, from free-range farming in Alpine areas to large specialised dairy farms in the north-west and centre of Europe. In 2016, 157 million tonnes of milk were delivered to dairies, where raw milk is processed into fresh products such as cheese or butter. Part of the common agricultural policy, the EU's dairy policy consists of a range of instruments designed to support farmers and address market imbalances. In particular, it includes common market organisation, public intervention and private storage provisions, direct payments and rural development measures. The policy has been constantly updated over time, one recent development being the suppression of milk quotas in 2015. The 2014 to 2016 crisis, during which raw milk prices dropped dramatically from around 40 to 25.7 cents per litre, triggered a reaction by the Commission based on public intervention-buying, private storage and a range of exceptional measures. Two aid packages were adopted, including incentives for farmers to reduce production. Recovery was in sight by 2017. In the coming years, growing EU and global demand is expected to support world dairy markets, without hindering price fluctuations and market imbalances. Resilience and sustainability are key words for the future of the sector. This can be achieved with innovation, as a way to reconcile the need for farmers to earn a decent living, consumer demand for affordable and quality dairy products, and environmental/animal health requirements.

Research for AGRI Committee - The EU Cattle Sector: Challenges and Opportunities - Milk and Meat

15-02-2017

The cattle sector is of great economic importance within the EU agricultural sector. Productivity of the sector is very heterogeneous. In the near future, a further increase in milk and bovine meat supply can be expected. To avoid a decline in farm gate prices, further product differentiation at the EU level, an increase in export opportunities as well as compensation for environmental services to support extensification will be needed.

The cattle sector is of great economic importance within the EU agricultural sector. Productivity of the sector is very heterogeneous. In the near future, a further increase in milk and bovine meat supply can be expected. To avoid a decline in farm gate prices, further product differentiation at the EU level, an increase in export opportunities as well as compensation for environmental services to support extensification will be needed.

Údar seachtarach

Rico Ihle, Liesbeth Dries, Roel Jongeneel, Thomas Venus and Justus Wesseler (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)

Measures to address the crisis in the dairy sector

23-05-2016

The milk crisis in the EU has persisted since 2015. In light of the situation facing the dairy sector and recognising that the outlook for milk prices is not encouraging, Parliament has requested the Commission and the Council to provide an update in plenary on measures to address the situation.

The milk crisis in the EU has persisted since 2015. In light of the situation facing the dairy sector and recognising that the outlook for milk prices is not encouraging, Parliament has requested the Commission and the Council to provide an update in plenary on measures to address the situation.

Measures to support dairy farmers after the end of EU milk quotas

09-10-2015

Milk is produced in every EU Member State and EU milk production is growing. As the leading worldwide exporter of many dairy products, the EU is a major player in the global dairy market; within the Union, dairy is an essential agricultural sector with significant economic, social and territorial importance. For more than 30 years, EU milk supply was managed by the EU milk quota system, which expired at the end of March 2015. Although long-term market prospects are generally quite positive, with ...

Milk is produced in every EU Member State and EU milk production is growing. As the leading worldwide exporter of many dairy products, the EU is a major player in the global dairy market; within the Union, dairy is an essential agricultural sector with significant economic, social and territorial importance. For more than 30 years, EU milk supply was managed by the EU milk quota system, which expired at the end of March 2015. Although long-term market prospects are generally quite positive, with an overall rise in global demand which could offer opportunities to the sector, the challenges to be faced in coming years are numerous. The current tensions regarding milk prices and the 2009 milk price crisis demonstrate that market liberalisation and dependence on international markets can increase market instability and price volatility. At its plenary session in July 2015, the European Parliament voted on an own-initiative resolution on prospects for the EU dairy sector. It suggested that a series of tools could be developed or improved for the milk sector, such as establishing compulsory written contracts between milk producers and processors, enhancing the role of producer organisations and the recently-created Milk Market Observatory and tackling unfair trading practices in the food chain. The European Parliament also proposed pursuing new trade agreements, and improving information and promotion programmes for the dairy sector and school milk scheme, as well as new measures to protect farmers' profit margins. In September 2015, the European Commission presented a €500 million package to support European dairy farmers. This briefing updates 'The future of the EU dairy sector after the end of milk quotas', published in June 2015.

The future of the EU dairy sector after the end of milk quotas

24-06-2015

Milk is produced in every EU Member State and EU milk production is growing. As the leading worldwide exporter of many dairy products, the EU is a major player in the global dairy market; within the Union, dairy is an essential agricultural sector with significant economic, social and territorial importance. For more than 30 years, EU milk supply was managed by the EU milk quota system, which expired at the end of March 2015. Although long-term market prospects are generally quite positive, with ...

Milk is produced in every EU Member State and EU milk production is growing. As the leading worldwide exporter of many dairy products, the EU is a major player in the global dairy market; within the Union, dairy is an essential agricultural sector with significant economic, social and territorial importance. For more than 30 years, EU milk supply was managed by the EU milk quota system, which expired at the end of March 2015. Although long-term market prospects are generally quite positive, with an overall rise in global demand which could offer opportunities to the sector, the challenges to be faced in coming years are numerous. The current tensions regarding milk prices and the 2009 milk price crisis demonstrate that market liberalisation and dependence on international markets can increase market instability and price volatility. At the July 2015 plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report on prospects for the EU dairy sector. The report addresses the concerns arising from the end of milk quotas and any subsequent market volatility. It suggests that a series of tools could be developed or improved, such as establishing compulsory written contracts between milk producers and processors, enhancing the role of producer organisations and the recently-created Milk Market Observatory, tackling unfair trading practices in the food chain, pursuing new trade agreements, and improving information and promotion programmes for the dairy sector and school milk scheme, as well as new measures to protect farmers' profit margins.

Future Policy Options for EU Beet Production : Quotas - Yes or No ?

14-09-2012

Abolishment of EU sugar quotas will lead to lower sugar and sugar beet prices in the EU, leading to lower margins for farms. At the same time, expansion of sugar beet growing and processing in a quota-free situation can decrease fixed cost per ha of sugar beet and per kg of sugar, making both sugar beet growing and processing more efficient. Besides, lower sugar price levels will make Europe a more attractive continent for investments by sugar-based industries.

Abolishment of EU sugar quotas will lead to lower sugar and sugar beet prices in the EU, leading to lower margins for farms. At the same time, expansion of sugar beet growing and processing in a quota-free situation can decrease fixed cost per ha of sugar beet and per kg of sugar, making both sugar beet growing and processing more efficient. Besides, lower sugar price levels will make Europe a more attractive continent for investments by sugar-based industries.

Údar seachtarach

A.B. SMIT and J.F.M. HELMING

The Future of Milk Quota : Different Scenarios

15-01-2008

The objective of the study is to obtain an overview of the possible policy options for the phasing out of the milk quota scheme and the accompanying measures which could help to ensure a 'soft landing' for the industry should quotas be phased out in 2015. Specifically, this study analyses and assesses these policy options and accompanying measures on the basis of their feasibility with particular attention paid to their economic, social, regional and budgetary implications and provides recommendations ...

The objective of the study is to obtain an overview of the possible policy options for the phasing out of the milk quota scheme and the accompanying measures which could help to ensure a 'soft landing' for the industry should quotas be phased out in 2015. Specifically, this study analyses and assesses these policy options and accompanying measures on the basis of their feasibility with particular attention paid to their economic, social, regional and budgetary implications and provides recommendations on the best possible (mix of) policy option(s) and accompanying measures for the dairy sector.

Údar seachtarach

Edward Oliver and Conrad Caspari (Agra CEAS Consulting, United Kingdom)

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