March 7, 2021

Milk consumption "begins to recover" after the collapse suffered in recent years


During the 61st International Dairy Day, which was held last week, the Federation of Dairy Industries (Fenil) organized a round table in which it was noted that "the fall in milk consumption has experienced a turning point". Thus, the intake of liquid milk registered an increase of 1.5% in the last year, as extracted from the data handled by the Ministry of Agriculture. On the other hand, participants discussed the importance of including dairy products in the diet and discussed how the sector acts as a brake against depopulation in rural Spain. To deepen in the problems that affect the sector and the challenges that face in the medium term, we spoke with the general director of Fenil, Luis Calabozo.

The Acting Minister of Agriculture has put the dairy sector as an "excellent example" of the "things that are done well" within the agri-food system, what did he mean?

The dairy sector has managed to face different circumstances thanks to the positive interaction in the value chain. Challenges are being overcome such as the fall in consumption in recent years, which is beginning to recover. Within the sector, from the INPAC Inter-profession, important advertising campaigns are now being organized, always based on accredited scientific studies that will be launched between the end of this year and the beginning of next year. The objective is to awaken a consumer who is not aware that he has reduced his dairy intake, when it is advisable to take three products of this type a day.

How much has milk consumption rebounded in Spain?

The consumption of liquid milk has fallen by 10% in the last 10 years, but its intake has returned to rebound by 1.5% in the last year. On the other hand, the drop in yoghurts and cheeses was lower. Production, however, has gone from 6 million to 7 million tons of cow's milk as raw material for the production of all types of milk for consumption and dairy products despite the reduction in consumption. This growth in production has been destined to replace the imports of this milk as raw material and it is also being exported abroad through the export of cheese.

Why is this turning point in the intake?

Society is answering itself about the false myths about dairy products. Science is being imposed on the beliefs and information viral and false.

How does the dairy sector contribute to fighting rural depopulation?

The dairy sector helps to set the population thanks to the existence of the 2,100 processing plants spread throughout the territory, as well as the connectivity provided by the milk collection routes in the centers that are scattered throughout the Spanish territory. It also helps to curb depopulation by creating high-quality employment precisely in the areas with the greatest depopulation problem, which is where most of the plants settle.

However, Spanish farmers complain that in some cases they are forced to sell below production costs …

This phenomenon has to do with the cost structure since it is difficult to convey to the consumer the value of what is produced. If we buy prices with France, we see that here there is more resistance to transferring the cost of production to the final price. The value of the chain of one country must be compared with another.

These same farmers claim that in Esapaña are forced to close some 77 farms a day

The closure of farms has more to do with sociology, it goes beyond what happens with prices. This fall in the number of farms across Europe takes place at the same time that production increases, that is, there is a tendency towards concentration. It is a widespread phenomenon due to family management, profitability and the end of the quota system.

. (tagsToTranslate) sector (t) dairy (t) consumption

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