EDA releases further Covid-19 milk supply statement
The European Dairy Association has released a statement about the milk supply in Europe at present, asking for priority access to container and freight facilities, as well as the EU private storage aid scheme being reactivated. Additionally, it is looking at help for the disposal of milk in case of collection issues and alternate uses for the milk, as the EU goes into the high season for milk collection.
From EDA secretary general Alexander Anton, it reads in part, “In these times of crisis the European dairy sector proves its capacity to be a reliable and stable supplier of milk and dairy products, both within the EU single market and at international levels and lives up to its societal responsibility. Contingency plans are in place to assure the collection, processing and distribution of milk and dairy even in these extraordinary circumstances.
“We are grateful for the calls of the EU Commission upon member states to keep the supply lines of essential goods like milk and dairy open. These calls have shown positive results.
“Throughout the Union, basically all dairy operations are running (even the dairy site hit by the Zagreb earthquake is [partly] in operation).
“Within our union, consumer ready milk and dairy products still show a strong demand, with operational supply (packaging, non-dairy ingredients) becoming a limiting factor in this market segment.
“So far, the dairy workforce in Europe allows continued operations. Contingency plans are in pace and management personnel is now trained to take over functions in the milk processing operations.
“The ‘shutdown situation’ is now basically in all part s of the union and the increasing raw milk production volumes, combined with an increasing number of quarantined/non-operational work force and a restricted supply of operational supply force EU dairies to shift milk volumes to less labour intensive and less packaging dependent processing facilities (drying towers) and hence reduce the production of consumer ready goods.
“With significant price cuts for SMP at international and EU level, bulk markets show a clear downward trend. Export of milk and dairy is hence key for the economic continuity of the milk and dairy sector. New requests for ‘Covid-19 certifications’ are not helpful in that very context.
“Furthermore, all over Europe, export operations are limited by container and freight availability. In this situation, the storage of dairy products (SMP, butter and cheeses) is the only option. That’s why storage costs are increasing throughout the union.
“To be able to continue to guarantee the full and vital operationability of the milk and dairy sector in these crisis times, we ask the European Commission to:
- Continue to insist at member state level to allow frictionless milk collection and milk and dairy distribution operations across the union and across borders
- Activate the private storage aid scheme according to part II of Regulation (EU) 1308/2013 for butter, skimmed milk powder and cheeses
- Establish a scheme to allow a priority-based access to container and freight capacities for the products categorised as ‘essential,’ like milk and dairy products.
“In addition, we ask to consider additional emergency measures in coordination between the European Commission and member states, as well as within the dairy sector that will become crucial whenever Covid-19 will force us to stop milk collection in certain areas, to redirect raw milk to less added value products or to close down processing capacities of (regional) systemic importance in certain areas:
- Set up a milk producer urgency scheme for the disposal of milk in case milk cannot be collected due to a lack of collection or processing capacities as a Covid-19 consequence.
- Set up of an urgency scheme for dairy processors for alternative uses of milk (for instance, bulk produce instead of consumer goods) in base of continued milk collection, but a closing down of processing capacities of (regional) systemic important as a Covid-19 consequence.”