'Abusive' Milk Contracts Cause Outrage07 February 2013
SPAIN – The union of small farmers and ranchers (UPA) has accused dairy companies of imposing ‘irregular’ contracts upon producers by entering into agreements that ignore objectives set out in the milk package.
Balanaced, negotiated contracts between producer and dairy were made mandatory under the pan-european 'milk package' which was introduced in Spain weeks before the rest of Europe. Pricing was intended to reflect cost of production which has been rising considerably this year.
However the UPA has claimed that farmers are being forced to sign debilitating contracts under ‘threat and coercion’.
According to the UPA, mandatory price benchmarks, set by the Interprofessional Dairy Organisation (IDO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment have been ignored.
The UPA has said that some producers have been offered contracts stipulating a certain price with the verbal promise of additional payments out of contract. They say that this is not within the scope of the milk package.
Outrage has been caused among farming unions. They have said that the decline in dairy farm numbers will not be halted unless the situation of ‘abusive’ and ‘intolerable’ milk contracts is addressed.
The image below is taken from the UPA website. It is of a 'milk package' contract.
The text covers issues of over production penalties. It reads that the amount of milk exceeding the quota will be subject to a penalty if it is specifically stipulated that way for the parties involved. Annex 1- the table below- shows the milk penalties.
The UPA has urged the IDO and the Ministry to monitor compliance with the milk package regulations to protect Spain’s dairying future.
TheCattleSite News Desk