EDA letter to EU Commission President

Ahead of tomorrow’s EU Council, Michel Nalet – chair of the European Dairy Association (EDA) addressed a letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker regarding recent barriers to Single Market.

“The European dairy industry is the economic backbone of rural Europe and beyond,” said Nalet. “12,000 processing sites across Europe, more than 300,000 direct jobs in the milk processing industry, we are partnering with about 700,000 well trained and committed dairy farmers on a daily basis; Europe is home to five out of the top ten global dairies. All over Europe, we have the tradition of the past, the skills of today and the passion for the future of milk production and processing.

“The greatest benefit for our dairy industry today comes from a well-functioning EU single market for our high-quality products, an ambitious EU trade agenda and the Common Agricultural Policy.”

Nalet is pushing for the EU Commission to use its powers to defend the EU Single Market for milk and dairy.

“‘The free movement of safe and wholesome food is an essential aspect of the internal market and contributes significantly to the health and the well-being of citizens and to their social and economic interests,’ as Whereas 1 of the General Food Law (Regulation 178/2004) puts it.” points out Nalet, but he says the single market is no longer functioning the way it should for dairy, or for food in general, and has seen “huge failings”.

Forced origin labelling are making dairies in so-called border regions to revise their milk collection strategy and have “no legal or technological justification and we all know that they are powered by purely political motivations”.

Nalet also moves against implementing a traffic-light nutrition labelling system as is common in the UK, as it makes a diet soda drink rank better than drinking milk.

On the subject of Intra-trade certificates, Nalet said: “We wish to have a pragmatic solution for both the trade of raw material and finish products. The solution requires a close cooperation between EU Commission services and the competent Member States’ authorities and we have seen some progress in the discussions in the so-called Potsdam Group.”

Read the full letter here.

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