As current figures prove, the situation for milk producers has not improved sufficiently. For example, the association Büro für Agrarsoziologie und Landwirtschaft (BAL) reported a cost price of 44.96 cents/kg milk for the Netherlands in the third quarter. This is contrasted by an average milk price of just about 26.70 cents in the three-month period from July to October. As a result, production cost coverage is at only 59 per cent in the Dutch dairy sector.

These figures stem from an ongoing study that provides production costs in different European countries on the basis of EU data. According to this study, a similar problem is affecting Germany as well. Figures up to October report costs of 44.77 cents and an average price of 30.05 cents/kg milk, which implies cost coverage of only 67 per cent.

Such a situation begs the following important questions: How could it come to the current state of affairs where almost a third of production costs have not been covered for more than two years? Can sustainable, viable milk production continue to exist nationally and in Europe? How can the situation be improved on dairy farms that have taken a heavy toll and how can such a catastrophe be prevented in the future?

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