Protests Continue over Milk Price in Croatia

CROATIA - Dairy farmers have been protesting for 13 days now stressing they will not remove roadblocks until negotiations with institutions responsible for the milk production and purchase are launched.
calendar icon 28 February 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Representatives of the HSUPM national federation of dairy farmers' associations have said that that roads would remain blocked until negotiations with the said institutions were launched. They believe that Agriculture Minister Tihomir Jakovina and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic should get involved in solving the problem.

They stressed that the HSUPM, which represents over 80 per cent of dairy farmers, who are producing over 450 million litres of milk, was protesting because of the shameful agreement signed on February 23 by milk farmers who were not even members of the Dairy Council.

HSUPM believes that the offered milk price will force two thirds of Croatian dairy farms out of business.

Roadblocks have been set up at all protest sites, except Slavonska Avenue in Zagreb. HSUPM apologised to Croatian citizens for the inconvenience and problems they would experience in traffic.

Dairy farmers have been protesting for nearly two weeks outside the Dukat dairy company in Zagreb and its daughter company Sirela in Bjelovar, and over the last few days the protests have spread to a number of other locations across the country.

They are protesting because they are dissatisfied with the purchase price of HRK 2.30 per kilo of milk which the Dukat dairy company proposed in late January.

They demand that a memorandum on the milk purchase price from 2009 be respected under which they received HRK 2.71 per kilo plus an incentive of HRK 0.42.

Some dairy farmers associations late on Thursday evening signed an agreement defining a model for determining the purchase price of milk under which the purchase price will be HRK 2.43, however, the HSUPM did not agree to the proposed price and continued to protest.

The new model for determining the milk purchase price is an average of five EU countries (Germany, France, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania). Under the agreement, the purchase price of milk will be HRK 2.43 and be in force for three months.

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