Results of the Fieragricola Verona survey into crisis measures implemented by the European Commission
Until such time as the crisis tools adopted by Brussels in the Milk Package become operative – an operation involving 500 million euros (of which 350 available to Member States and 150 to support voluntary reduction of milk production) – the Italian dairy farmers are demanding that a common market organisation (CMO) be set up to support exports to non-EU countries and that voluntary reduction of milk production should also take the self-sufficiency status of individual EU countries into account.
This emerges from a survey conducted by Fieragricola – scheduled at Veronafiere 31 January-3 February 2018 – involving replies from 480 dairy farmers and processors.
In particular, there is considerable support for the creation of a Milk CMO to promote internationalisation in third countries among 43.8% of stakeholders, while 39.6% ask the EU to plan reduction of output based on the effective levels of self-sufficiency. This would mean that most reductions in milk production would take place in Northern Europe, the Baltic States and countries such as Ireland - all of which faced by significant surpluses compared to their own effective needs. Italy, where production stands at less than 75% of domestic requirements, would therefore not be forced to reduce milk output, just like almost all countries in southern Europe where output is essentially lower than consumption. 22.9% of respondents agree with the dispositions of the European Commission, i.e. a voluntary reduction plan in accordance with Article 222 of the Treaty covering operation of the EU among all Member States.
Shifting attention to the demands of dairy farmers at Government level, since Italy will receive 20.9 million euros from the 350 million in the Milk Package made directly available to Member States, survey responses highlight stronger promotion of PDO cheese (58.3%), support for exports to non-EU countries (47.9%), the definition of incentives for innovation (27.1%) and stronger producer organisations (20.8%). Production of cheese with a protected designation of origin, in particular, ensures significant added value for Italian milk and would help protect unique typical products held in high regard on national and international markets.