Dairy demands outlined in framework
Across the European Union (EU28), there are 700,000 dairy farms, 12,000 milk processing sites and more than 300,000 people working in the sector. The dairy sector is the industrial and societal backbone of rural Europe in the EU27 as much as in the UK, the European Dairy Association reminds everyone in its dairy framework document, released on 31 January. It notes,
“The development of the European ‘lactosphère’, supported by opportunities offered by the EU Single Market, has been a unique success story. EDA and our member DairyUK want to build on this success. That is the reason why EDA and Dairy UK have developed an EU-UK dairy framework. Our objectives are clear. It would be detrimental to both the UK and EU27 dairy sectors if the United Kingdom leaves the EU Single Market and Customs Union without a trade agreement or an alternative solution to keep the milk moving. The only acceptable arrangement would secure the free movement of milk and dairy products between the EU and UK with no tariffs or quotas from either side for milk and dairy products and limit non-tariff barriers to trade (SPS/TBT) as much as possible.
“The negative effects of a failed transition period will go beyond corporate and economic interests and will directly harm consumers and society. Affordable and high-quality milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products, rich in protein and healthy natural fats, are a mainstay of European diets. Disruption to supply chains as a result of a poorly managed future arrangement will force prices up, limit choice and have a negative impact on citizens’ diets.
“The European dairy industry has continuously advocated for a responsible outcome that considers the specificities of our sector. We therefore urge decision-makers on both sides of the Channel to act responsibly and continue the ongoing discussion with the dairy industry.
“In light of the above-mentioned negotiations, the European Dairy Association calls on the European Union and the United Kingdom to take into account the following key asks:
- Zero tariffs and zero quotas in the trade between the EU27 and UK on dairy and dairy related products.
- Greatest possible alignment in standards to minimize trade frictions and mechanisms to ensure that any divergence in standards cause minimal disruption to trade.
- Smooth movement of dairy products with no technical barriers to trade.
- Recognising existing alignment in food law, allow for technical divergence once underlying principles are maintained.
- Robust rules of origin to protect the EU27 and UK market from third country imports.
- Maintenance of all existing dairy GI protection.
- Full implementation of the protocol established in the withdrawal agreement for the Island of Ireland in order to facilitate continued movement of dairy across the land border from both a customs and regulatory perspective.”