Austrian farmers want a fair share

There is growing dissatisfaction among farmers about the price situation on farms, which has already led to protests by farmers in several countries. This has also led Helmut Petschar, president of the Association of Austrian Milk Processors (VÖM), to note:  “Significant cost increases in advance payments for the dairy industry in the areas of packaging, energy, wages, sugar and fruit, further increasing international quotes, especially for cheese and powder and protein dairy products are leading to firmer prices throughout Europe.”

In 2019, Austrian dairies were faced with massive cost increases, which included higher costs for energy, packaging, wages and services such as sugar or fruit. Without higher retail prices, this led to pressure on farmers’ milk payment prices, while at the same time other quality requirements in the country, such as sustainability criteria for non-GMO production, led to increased pressure on farm income.

However, there is an upwards price trend in international markets, especially for cheese, milk powder and protein. The reasons for this are good global demand, with increased exports from the EU as well as an EU and worldwide lower supply of milk, partly as a result of the drought in Australia and New Zealand.

On average, Austrians have one of the highest incomes in the EU and the share of consumption expenditure for dairy products is only 0.7%. It is therefore clear to VÖM that these positives must also assist Austrian dairy farmers. “In any case, it must be guaranteed that domestic dairy farmers receive a fair share in this development,” added Petschar.

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