Germany’s ailing dairy farmers are to receive aid amounting to “100 million euros plus X”. The said Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) after Dairy Summit in Berlin on Monday. The package includes, among other livelihood assistance, tax relief and exemption arrangements to repay debt.
At present, around 70,000 dairy farmers in Germany suffer from prices that no longer cover the cost. This is due to an oversupply of milk – not only in Germany but in Europe and worldwide. Payments of some less than 20 cents per liter bring many yards to the edge of their viability.
By this, according to farmers’ representatives also promised million will not change. “This will save not operating,” said the chief executive of Saxon Farmers’ Association, Manfred Uhlemann. NRW Agriculture Minister Johannes Remmel (Green) has a similar view. “The announced grants for businesses are not more than a drop in the ocean,” he said. The results of the talks were disappointing. “The Dairy Summit has brought no breakthrough.”
Twice as expensive, but at a fair price
While policy and association representatives in Berlin talked about ways out of the low price crisis gripped the farmers themselves the initiative. Burkhard Ströcker, director of “The Fair Milk” commercialization (DFM) will, roll up the market – with fairly traded milk
Ströckers company is a new one. way: consumers willingly pay more, and producers benefit guarantees thereof. The “Fair Milk” with the black-red-golden cow as identification is sold in stores usually at prices from 1.19 to 1.29 euros per liter. This places it at the top of the high-priced offers and is more than twice as expensive as the cheapest offers which have leveled off at 0.46 euros per liter. With 0.45 euros producers should also receive more than twice as much as usual in the market. The fair DFM milk is most commonly found in Edeka stores and many farm shops. “We are also in the process to gain a foothold in Rewe” Ströcker said. “We also test the collaboration with discounters.”
“We have asked around among consumers,” the DFM Boss. It had been found: the most it is important that farmers receive a fair price for their Mich. However, should farmers who participate, take certain production changes in purchasing. Because the market research has shown even more loudly Stocker: “The consumer does not want genetic engineering, he attaches great importance to animal welfare, and he rejects Turbo cows.”
Thus, they may not use soy feed from overseas farmers, the animals are rather feed “with a particularly high proportion of grass”. Currently, about 40 farms provide fair milk, around 200 more are ready shortly. Behind the marketing company DFM is the Association of German Dairy Farmers (BDM) with several thousand members.
In the usual dairy products, consumers could have no influence on producer prices contrary to general opinion, was on Monday the sobering conclusion of a study of the organization Food Watch. Even if consumers buy expensive milk, which comes through loud Foodwatch “virtually nothing” from farmers to. The Trade Association of Germany explained that the current milk prices were “the result of supply and demand on the world market”. Schmidt stressed structural changes in the dairy market was inevitable.
“We pfuschen farmers aware of the craft”
on fair trade milk many hopes rest. The time seems ripe, as well as other Listings. The milk supply South Germany about sold in parts of Germany their brand “Star Fair”. Milchwerke Berchtesgadener Land from the idyllic village of Piding on the edge of the Alps will pay its farmers currently about 40 cents per kilogram of raw milk – concretely 38.75 cents for conventional milk and 39.85 cents for mountain farmers milk. “Our niche is quality,” says CEO Bernhard Pointner. And there was not a discount price.
In return, however, the requirements are high to around 1,800 farmers, who are grouped together in the cooperative. So the fodder (grasses and herbs) has mainly come from the meadows of the Alps, green genetic engineering is prohibited here, and the cows get additional natural mineral rock salt from Berchtesgaden instead of industrial salt licks.
in addition, the animals are treated mainly homeopathy in case of illness rather than coverage with antibiotics. “We pfuschen farmers aware of the craft,” said Pointner. And the dairy talking to at the quantity control. “Every liter, we have to sell on the spot market, a lot of damage,” says the dairy boss. Currently namely bringing the so-called over milk just 15 cents per kilogram. “This comes at the expense of all the members in the cooperative.” So Berchtesgaden brought its members to the amount of milk to reduce by six percent, after some had begun to increase their sales volumes. “Only in this way we were able to keep the price paid at the end constant. A fair milk producer price is only possible if our farmers are willing to behave also fair in the amount of milk.”
And so is the dairy, which processes around 260 million kilograms of milk annually, choosy in accepting new members. Although now hundreds applications pile up on the desk of Bernhard Pointner. Additions can be the manager but only in the areas of mountain farmers milk and organic milk. Also Ströcker says: “In recent days, the inquiries have heaped.”
pressure from trade do not get the Berchtesgaden apparently. Pointner any case called the trade a “fair partner”. The drinking milk sold these partners for more than twice the price of the entry-level goods. And the butter costs easy one euro more per 250-gram packets. Pointner promises that the additional quantities to the farmer – after deduction of the necessary investment in location and brand communication. “Private withdrawals there in a cooperative not.” Revenue would be paid in full in the form of milk money to farmers. “With every purchase consumers are thus also his voice from.”