Romania’s dairy farmers are asking Government for subsidies of nearly 50 bani per litre of milk to weather the ongoing crisis facing the dairy industry, given that their counterparts in other EU member states are paid such subsidies.
‘If we look at what is happening in Europe, a 0.5-leu subsidy per litre of compliant milk would be real support to farms pending a change in the market conditions. There were 0.3-leu subsidies per litre in 2007-2010, which helped us making progress,’ Chairman of Holstein RO Association of Cattle Farmers said Monday.
He said the ex-works prices the dairy farmers get are very small and conducive to farms being closed down. ‘Our yields are similar to those of Western farms; we produce at similar costs but they can sell milk in Romania cheaper than we do, despite their transportation costs as well,’ said Serban.
He added that support measures have been devised in most of European countries because of a milk crisis triggered by a fall in consumption. ‘In Romania, it has not been understood that we risk exterminating consumption of milk and dairy products made in Romania in some years’ time, unless they step in immediately,’ said Serban.
He also said that the ex-works prices of milk have been falling for some time by 30-40 percent, but the prices displayed on the shelf did not go down, not even after a cut in the Value-Added Tax (VAT). ‘Profit distribution along the distribution chain is not exactly fair,’ said Serban.
The current ex-works prices for milk is paid according to the quantity supplied, varying between 0.7 and 1.25 lei per litre, according to the Holstein RO official. In his turn, Pro Agro Chairman Emil Dumitru said even data with the European Commission show the ex-works purchasing prices are very small in Romania.
‘We want to warn the officials, the agriculture minister, that there is an ongoing milk crisis and measures should be taken to subsidise income losses, given that other states have adopted farming support schemes,’ said Dumitru.
The dairy farmers also say that if the officials fail to take the necessary measures, they will take to the streets to protest.