Brussels, 15 June 2010
High Level Group makes 7 recommendations for EU dairy sector
The High Level Group on Milk, set up last October in the wake of last year's dairy crisis, has finalised the report on its deliberations, including recommendations to the Commission on seven issues. These include an invitation to come forward with concrete moves to enhance the use of written contracts in the dairy supply chain and to consider proposals to increase the collective bargaining power of dairy producers.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş stated today: "I welcome the work of the HLG and this report. I will now study it in detail with a view to coming forward with legislative proposals before the end of the year. My main aim is that we consider medium to long term measures which address the lessons learned from last year's crisis aimed at better structuring the sector as a whole."
The recommendations to the Commission from the High Level Group relate to:
The full 50-page report (with annexes) will be posted shortly at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets/milk/index_en.htm
Following the difficult market situation for milk last year, the Commissioner established a High Level Expert Group on Milk (HLG) last October with the purpose of discussing mid-term and long-term arrangements for the dairy sector given the expiry of dairy quotas on 1 April 2015 (see IP/09/1420). While respecting the outcome of the Health Check, the HLG was asked to consider regulatory issues which might contribute to stabilizing the market and producers' income and enhance transparency on the market. 10 meetings were held from October 2009 until June 2010. A draft report summarising the outcome of the discussions and with certain recommendations was tabled in May, and this was adopted unanimously today.
Comprising representatives from Member States and chaired by the Director-General for Agriculture & Rural Development Jean-Luc Demarty, the HLG heard oral and written contributions from major European stakeholder groups in the dairy supply chain on the issues. Furthermore, the HLG received valuable contributions from invited academic experts, 3rd country representatives, DG Competition, National Competition Authorities and DG AGRI regarding some specific issues. Finally a major dairy stakeholder Conference was held on 26 March 2010 allowing a larger number of actors in the chain to express their positions.
A copy of the report will be sent to Council (for a discussion in July) and to the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament.