The future for dairy, food and farming

According to the EU dairy industry, it is a vital part of EU agriculture beyond the EU dairy industry sector chain. The 160 million tonnes of milk produced per year in the EU are processed in 12,000 milk processing and production sites across the EU.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) measures are of great importance to the functioning of the dairy industry sector chain and hence for the dairy industry, present in all EU Member States.

The EU dairy industry says that future CAP should continue its evolution towards a greater market orientation of the agricultural policy. It says that a proper functioning of the internal market is essential for the future of food, dairy and farming at both supply and outlet levels.

The EU dairy industry also stresses the importance of clear and harmonised CAP rules applied in as uniform as possible way, all over Europe. Whilst appreciating the need for a new delivery model as expressed in the Commission Communication, with more space for national ruling (subsidiarity), the new CAP should not lead to fragmentation of the internal market, the industry says.

In this context, a new CAP should support and enhance the development and innovative capacities of the sector. Only by innovation at milk production and processing level the EU dairy industry is able to keep and strengthen its worldwide competitive position. Enhancing the dairy sector’s competitiveness on the global markets also ensures the future sustainability of EU milk production.

Higher volatility and market risks are seen as a result of increased market orientation and are defined in EU Commission’s Communication as a major challenge. The EU dairy industry says that it will have to deal with sharp and short-term price fluctuations by a combination of new and existing policy measures. Current direct income support for farmers and the intervention schemes have played an important role in stabilising farm income.

The industry appreciates the defined objective to bolster environmental care and climate action following the EU 2030 Climate and Energy targets. It agrees with the statement that agriculture should make a fair contribution to these overarching societal objectives. Income support to farmers coupled with a more streamlined set of environmental conditions as foreseen in the Communication can facilitate this change.

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