The conflict between farmers, industry and distribution over the price of milk is entrenched




The swords are still high in the milk sector: The differences between farmers, industry and distribution persist regarding the prices received by producers, whose costs have skyrocketed especially because of energy, cereals and feed. From the production side, they demand a significant increase to the same extent that the costs they bear have increased. “Milk prices cannot be below 40 cents”, have specified from UPA. In the majority Asaja They added that producers “cannot wait” and regret that there is not much movement from Industry and Distribution, although the former has already put on the table the possibility of a rise in “Little more than a penny” on current prices for next year, according to sources consulted.

The mobilizations planned in different parts of Spain will not be called off.

From the National Federation of Dairy Industries (Phenyl), in statements to ABC, its CEO Luis Calabozo attributes the current cost crisis “mainly due to raw materials, energy and the restructuring of the sector itself. As well as a process of changes in our production model, which is governed by the new ecoconditionality of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or the farm-to-table strategy ”. Calabozo has estimated that production costs have increased «In approximately 22% in cattle feed, 11% in labor, 59% in energy, 48% in carbon emissions, and 35% in green point; which means an inevitable increase in production costs for the dairy sector ”.

A crisis that Calabozo has recognized that it is aggravated “by the unsustainability of the value chain” and joins the criticism from the production side to meet the demands of the sector. «We are committed to the fight for the viability of the system and for fair and efficient price formation for farmers, industries and distribution ”, has pointed out

For this reason, Calabozo has been in favor of making selling at a loss to the consumer illegal “and putting dairy products in value” and warns of the dangers of depending on other countries in the medium term. In addition, he has requested that the Senate reform the Chain Law also illegalize “the sale at a loss by category to the comsunidor, the commercial relations be regularized and there be symmetry of conditions between industry and distribution, just as it is between industry and ranchers ». In any case, he has shown his fear that the current crisis will end in job losses and destruction.

Ministerial mediation

Meanwhile, at the request of the Secretary General of Agriculture and Food Fernando Miranda, the agricultural organizations (Asaja, COAG and UPA) together with Cooperativas Agroalimentarias have met with the National Federation of Dairy Industries (Fenil) and the distribution represented by the Spanish Association of Supermarket Chains (ACES), National Association of Large Companies Distribution (ANGED) and the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-services and Supermarkets (Asedas). In it, Miranda has recognized the difficulties that farmers are going through and recalled that the difference between what they charge for milk compared to their European counterparts continues to widen. Miranda has conveyed to the parties the need to ‘Fine-tune’ the functioning of the value chain, especially given the increase in production costs to continue creating value. In addition, it has recognized the difficulties that farmers are going through and recalled that the difference between what they charge for milk compared to their European counterparts continues to widen.

According to official data from the European Commission and the Price Observatory of the Ministry of Agriculture, between 2018 and 2020 the average price that farmers received for milk was 0.32 cents / liter compared to 0.35 cents / liter of the European Union (EU) average. Spanish farmers, always according to these data, would be far from their French counterparts (0.378 cents / liter), Italians (0.359 cents / liter) or Irish (0.375 cents / liter).

From Asaja they have recalled that the sector has “A high debt” for the investments made in the past to modernize their farms and they fear that the current crisis will lead to the closure of dozens of them. The number of installations has been drastically reduced since the 1990s, from about 232,000 to 12,000 today.

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