It’s a familar scenario: the milk price falls; farmers come out to the street; and the Commission starts to panic. Following a ‘milk strike’ across Europe, an emergency meeting is to be held by farm ministers on October 5th. Nineteen member states have signalled support for a Franco-German initiative for an aid package for dairy farmers. However, farm commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, insists that there is no prospect of reversing the decision to abandon dairy quotas as part of the CAP reform process.
Global prices surged in 2007, but this led to more production which came on to the market as the recession ended.
The simple fact is that there are too many inefficient dairy farmers in Europe. A slimmed down dairy sector would be more globally competitive. However, despite the opposition of Britain and Denmark, one suspects that a policy fudge is on the way.