Always blame the victim: underpaying retail and processing corporates ignored as dairy farmers are cheated of their fair dues

milk price fall graphQ: Are cars being sold at below production costs?

Q: Are cars being sold for 1990s prices?

Q: Then why are those who produce food – far more essential – treated in this way?

A: They haven’t got a powerful independent lobby and cannot afford large donations to party funds.

Myth: Farmers want low income households to pay more for milk

Establishment economist Alan Matthews writes:

alan matthews“I always get a funny feeling when I hear the relatively well-off demand that low-income households should pay more for their food to satisfy the preferences of the better-off (this is, of course, a generalisation and exceptions exist, not least dairy farmers just breaking even, but it is broadly true)”.

andrew hemmingNot true. As the late FFA vice-chairman Andrew Hemming always said, customers are paying a good price – it is the profit margins taken by retail corporates that should be reduced to give a fair return to producers: covering cost of production and overheads.

State media does not consider the issue of a fair price and quickly moves on to give time to more trivial subjects [today the flower industry]. Farming Today reported that the pan-EU farmers union, Copa-Cogeca, says many dairy farmers are struggling because of falling prices and suggests that early subsidy payments would help with cash flow. In a press release on its website, Copa and Cogeca warned of the seriously difficult market situation faced by EU milk producers at a recent EU Milk Market Observatory meeting and called for action.

loss of dairy graphSpeaking at the meeting, Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Milk Working Party Mansel Raymond said that 750.000 European milk producers are struggling with their margins and face major cash flow problems.

Prices paid to milk producers don’t even cover production costs in most countries. The situation is becoming unbearable in the short-term – below the safety net level. This will lead to a further serious loss in production capacity [see chart above left] which we cannot afford to do with the rising demand for food.

No industry can afford to sell its products at a loss over time – so why should dairy farmers be expected to do this?


Posted on July 3, 2015, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Economy, Finance, Food, Government, Inequality, Lobbying, Parliamentary failure, Vested interests and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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