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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.

Mandatory origin-labelling schemes in Member States

12-09-2018

Eight EU Member States have launched, or are about to launch, national mandatory labelling schemes for certain food products, mainly for milk and milk used in dairy products, but also meat used in processed foods. The regulatory basis for these national measures is the Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which allows Member States to adopt additional national measures concerning the mandatory labelling of foodstuffs, as long as these are justified by reasons specifically ...

Eight EU Member States have launched, or are about to launch, national mandatory labelling schemes for certain food products, mainly for milk and milk used in dairy products, but also meat used in processed foods. The regulatory basis for these national measures is the Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which allows Member States to adopt additional national measures concerning the mandatory labelling of foodstuffs, as long as these are justified by reasons specifically defined in the regulation. The European Parliament has been supporting origin labelling in several resolutions. Consumer organisations have advocated it as well, while many industry stakeholders have highlighted the practical difficulties and costs it would bring. The European Commission has reiterated its position, based on its reports exploring the issue, that voluntary origin labelling is the best option at European level.

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.

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.

Externe auteur

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

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