Sieta van Keimpema named as president of the EMB

The European Milk Board (EMB) has elected its current vice president Sieta van Keimpema from the Netherlands as its new president. Kjartan Poulsen from Denmark was chosen by the members for the post of vice president. In addition, current executive committee members Boris Gondouin from France, Pat McCormack from Ireland and Roberto Cavaliere from Italy saw their mandates renewed. The EMB also welcomed Elmar Hannen from Germany and Guy Francq from Belgium as new members of the executive committee.

Outgoing president Erwin Schöpges, who wishes to focus henceforth on the development of Fair Milk in Belgium and some African countries, was given a warm send-off by his fellow dairy farmers. The assembly also expressed its heartfelt gratitude to Johannes Pfaller from Germany, who stepped down from the executive committee after serving for two and a half years, for his long-standing commitment at the EMB to fight for fair trade relations and against the dumping of European surpluses in African markets.

Incoming president van Keimpema told the EMB members that she believed that representing the interests of European dairy farmers before the EU Institutions would continue to remain very important. “I would like to thank you for your vote of confidence,” she said to the members while also looking at the upcoming priorities and challenges: “Advocating for a crisis-proof agricultural policy will be at the very top of the EMB agenda. The European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy also need to be considered from a clear producer perspective and the EMB will continue to engage actively with political decision-makers and provide constructive contributions.”

From the intensive exchange on the Green Deal and the F2F Strategy at this Assembly of EMB dairy farmers, it was clear that cost-covering prices and a stable income for farmers must become a real priority for EU policy makers within their environmental strategies. “Economic and social sustainability must be given the same degree of importance as environmental sustainability,” said van Keimpema.  “This means that we have to create a framework where the costs of climate and environmental requirements are covered by the price and are not simply passed on to be borne by producers.”

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