Milk Crisis In Romania

ROMANIA - Milk producers are discontent with current milk prices, which they claim are much lower than the European average.
calendar icon 27 October 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

After months of protests, the European Commission decided to grant a 280 million euro aid for the milk sector. ACT Media reports that in Romania, there is much discontent but farmers dare not going on a strike stopping milk deliveries as happened in other states.

Dairy producers in Romania complain that processors are offering very small prices for the milk delivered to factories. In the opposite camp ACT Media found processors who say that prices are normal in the conditions in which only 60 per cent of the milk supplied by farmers is according to European quality standards. Dairy farmers want to build their own processing units . “We signed a protocol with the Finance Ministry giving us government guarantees to build a milk processing centre. Now we are gathering offers for equipment,” said Mircea Ciurea, the president of the National Federation of Cattle Breeders in Romania. Eventually, the farmers will have their own brand in the milk and dairy product market.

Mr Ciurea says that sales prices of milk sold to processors are 18-19 euro cents per litre. In other European states the price is 25 euro cents on the average. Farmers also complain about the fact that state authorities, the Ministry of Agriculture in particular, do not support them with subsidies. Costel Caras from the Ministry, told ACT Media that the ministry is delaying the payment of subsidies per animal, which is 571 lei this year.

On the other hand, processors say they pay the right price. “For one leu we add 20-40 per cent transport fares and costs of tests for quality”, said Valentin Blanaru, the president of the Romanian Patrons Association in the Milk Industry. He said that because of the fact that 40 per cent of milk is not according to European quality standards, processors had to import raw material from EU states. In the first half of the year 20 per cent of processed milk was brought from other states.

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