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“At Governmental level we are discussing a decree for the label of origin to be placed on all the foodstuff, and milk is a the symbol of this fight in the name of more transparency, especially in Italy. In our Country, Zaia reminded, we have 11 million tons of direct sales and 8 million of imports (between milk and derivates). To know the origin of the products that arrive in Italy from abroad is not a secondary issue, it is for this reason that in two days I will present a decree that outlines a label, clear for consumers, to be put on milk and its derivates”.
The Minister then spoke about Italy’s proposal, presented to the EU, to exit the sector’s crisis: a plan of abandonment of the market for 600 million euro that will allow to eliminate 2% of the EU milk production.
“We are today, in all of Europe, Zaia underlined, living a moment of crisis for the sector and we have to face the difficulties existing in paying milk on the market. But we can draw profit from the crisis and take this opportunity to carry out a deep and wide restructuring of the sector, both in our Country and in the EU. For this reason we now launch our counter-proposal to the European Union: a plan of abandonment of the sector for those companies that are already in productive conditions of marginality.”
“Production costs are very high, while the average price paid to our breeders, Zaia said, is around 28-25 cents. This explains the contraction of the production and of exports, not only of milk but also of cheeses, with our dairy quality products in first line. But this is a problem that hits Italy, as well as France, Germany, Austria, Holland and all other producing countries”.
“We cannot however, the Minister added, ask our producers to distort their productive models or to adapt to non remunerative market prices”.
“The Italian proposal, Zaia declared, is compatible with aids to farmers but it is not a State intervention like the one outlined by the EU Commission that wants to use 600 million of European funds for 2009 and the same amount in 2010, there for a total of 1 billion and 200 million euros to take out of the market butter and powder milk”.
“Italy, and with her all the European Countries, need a real entrepreneurial business plan that uses those funds to accompany out of the market those companies that are anyway destined to close. Our data says that in Europe there is a very high percentage of companies, 80%, with less than twenty animals. In Rumania, for instance, there are more than 1 million stables with only one animal. It is obvious that such companies are destined to disappear”.
“We must therefore, take this opportunity and remove from the market 3 million milk tons for each year, therefore a total of 4%, paying the breeders approximately 20 cent for every litre of quota; in this way we encourage the growth of the average size of the companies. In a moment of contraction like this one, I am convinced that many small producers would be very happy to adopt this solution, selling their quota to the UE through the States, rather than waiting for a closure that is inevitable. This crisis, with the prices so low, gives us the opportunity to operate this deep restructuring: it is therefore a formidable occasion to relaunch the sector in a long-lasting way”.
sOURCE: aGRICOLTURA ITALIANA ON LINE
by S. C.
28 july 2009, World News > Italy