Young Farmers Speak Out for National Industry15 November 2012
SPAIN - Castile and Lyon Young Farmers are criticising the industry for offering 'ruinous' prices at a time when costs are rising and prices are better abroad.
Outrage was shown at the recent minimum price contracts offered to dairy farmers that afford a price which is 6 cents lower than stock market prices.
Speaking at a recent convention the Young Farmers have called the prices 'ruinous' and that at this current time, with feed, utilities and medicine costs rising so sharply, dairies are putting extreme pressure on producers. This pressure has resulted in farms going out of production and reduced rural employment levels. They warn that this is not what the country needs in times of economic crisis.
This concern comes after Spanish processors offered the same price through September and October while the rest of the EU market improved. This opened up an imbalance between Spanish and other EU farmers which currently stands at 5 cents a litre.
The Spanish industry blame the passing of new legislation, Real Decreto 1363/2012 and anticipated payments from the Common Agricultural Policy impeding the rise of milk prices.
The Young Farmers are calling for a meeting of a special agirucultural committee to deal with this crisis and ensure that farmgate prices increase. In the interim farmers are being urged not to enter into contracts offering less than the French market due to the importance of French milk on the Spanish economy. The Spanish annually import 3 million tonnes of dairy products from France and this figure, say the Young Farmers, will only continue to rise if more farms shut due to the hardship imposed by processors.
Spain's 21,729 farms have a total quota of 6,363,658 tons.
The average holding size in Castile and Leon is around 100 cows.