Calls For Volume Control

SWITZERLAND - Swiss dairy farmers along with other European producers protested yesterday against export dumping.
calendar icon 30 November 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Dumping exports deprives European producers and producers in importing countries of an income, said the European Milk Board.

Although a common practice in the industry for some time, Switzerland is now openly operating a "market cleansing system". This is where any surplus milk/ dairy products is dumped onto markets in other countries at very low prices.

Swiss butter is dumped on markets outside the EU at a cheap price, which Swiss producers pay compulsory levies for. Low fat cheese is exported at cheap prices to other EU countries thanks to the cheese allowance. The European Milk Board reports that more recently butter fat has also been exported at cheap prices within the EU.

The Swiss delegation of the EMB argues that the flogging off of this food, which is expensive to produce, is resulting in low farm gate prices for producers - not only Swiss producers but producers in importing countries.

Producers in Switzerland are demanding a volume control system to prevent surpluses being produced in the first place. A group of Swiss producers and industry representatives is putting pressure on the government to ensure that volume produced is adjusted to the existing market demand.

They believe that this system would stop surpluses being produced, improving the income of producers in all countries. On top of this they hope that such a system would stabilise the milk price.

"We need volume control to be in the producers’ hands to enable demand-oriented, profitable milk production in Switzerland and the EU. It is time those who represent the farmers’ interests realise their strength instead of kneeling to the demands of the dairies and the retailers," said Swiss members of the EMB.

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