FRACTIEBERICHT - EUROPESE GROENEN
Greens back dairy farmers' protests
Commenting on today's protests in Brussels by European dairy farmers, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, vice-chair of the European Parliament's agricultural committee, said:
"Milk prices have fallen over 30% in the last year and Greens support European dairy farmers who are protesting against price dumping in Brussels today. Milk production in Europe must be driven by quality and consumer needs, which implies some supply management. Scrapping milk quotas with no alternative system would be a huge mistake - Greens voted against the proposal in Parliament and call on EU agriculture ministers to prevent it from happening.
"The milk market is dominated by a handful of big chains that are free to dictate prices. We need binding competition legislation to prohibit discounters from selling milk below production cost. Farmers must however take their share of the responsibility by managing their milk production wisely and fighting for an equal footing on the milk market, which will result in fair prices in the long-term.
"Greens also demand an immediate halt to export subsidies that lead to milk and other agricultural products being forced on the world market at discount prices. This dumping destroys local production and livelihoods in developing countries and undermines the EU's credibility in tackling the global food crisis."