Dairy farmers are stepping up protests across several European countries.
The market has deteriorated rapidly in the past four weeks, according to European farmers and their co-ops.
Umbrella body Copa Cogeca predicts that milk producers will be forced out of business by winter unless crucial action is taken by the European Union. Milk Working Party chairman Mansel Raymond said the market is in a more perilous state than it was one month ago with producer prices far below production costs.
“It’s a critical situation for many dairy farmers across Europe. The Commission must act to improve the situation, short-term, so that producers can meet demand which is expected to rise in the medium-term.
“With 88% of milk produced in the EU intended for domestic consumption, the situation must also be taken seriously by all participants in the supply chain.
“If retailers continue to force prices down, we will see a big exodus of milk producers causing increased volatility on the market,” he said.
The EU Council of Agriculture Ministers will hold a special meeting in Brussels on September 7 to discuss the farm income crisis.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved