Motion for a resolution - B7-0053/2009Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the crisis in the dairy sector


further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0208/2009
pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Albert Deß, Esther Herranz García, Elisabeth Jeggle, Georgios Papastamkos, Joseph Daul, Astrid Lulling, Mairead McGuinness, Véronique Mathieu, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Elisabeth Köstinger, Peter Jahr, Herbert Dorfmann, Jean-Pierre Audy, Michel Dantin, Christophe Béchu, Dominique Riquet, Giovanni La Via, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Carlo Fidanza on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0047/2009

Procedure : 2009/2663(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the crisis in the dairy sector

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 33 of the Treaty,

–   having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2007 on rising feed and food prices (P6_TA(2007)0480),

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2008 on the CAP ‘Health Check’ (2007/2195(INI)) (Goepel report),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2008 on rising food prices in the EU and the developing countries (P6_TA(2008)0229),

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 March 2009 on food prices in Europe (2008/2175(INI)) (Batzeli report),

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 72/2009 of 19 January 2009 on modifications to the Common Agricultural Policy by amending Regulations (EC) No 247/2006, (EC) No 320/2006, (EC) No 1405/2006, (EC) No 1234/2007, (EC) No 3/2008 and (EC) No 479/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 1883/78, (EEC) No 1254/89, (EEC) No 2247/89, (EEC) No 2055/93, (EC) No 1868/94, (EC) No 2596/97, (EC) No 1182/2005 and (EC) No 315/2007,

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission to the Council on the dairy market situation 2009 (COM(2009)0385 final),

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council Regulation derogating from Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 (‘Single CMO’ regulation) as regards the 2009 and 2010 intervention periods for butter and skimmed milk powder (COM(2009)0354 final), and to the De Castro report on this proposal (A7-0005/2009),

–   having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the past twelve months have witnessed a dramatic deterioration in the situation on the dairy market with milk prices falling below 21 cents per litre, despite intervention and export subsidies, and many farmers are now selling dairy products below their production cost,

B.  whereas the viability of large numbers of EU dairy farmers in the EU is now seriously at risk, with many only surviving by using up their personal savings, which is clearly not sustainable,

C. whereas a consequence of the worldwide economic crisis has been a considerable decline in demand for dairy products at precisely the same time as supply has increased due to third countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and the US producing greater quantities,

D. whereas in the 2009 EU budgetary procedure Parliament prioritised the creation of a special EU Dairy Fund to help the sector through difficult readjustments,

E.  whereas Parliament has repeatedly highlighted the difference between the prices paid by consumers for agricultural products in the supermarkets and the prices received by producers, and has urged the thorough investigation of potential market abuses,

F.  whereas the Commission calculates that over the period May 2006 to May 2009 prices paid by consumers for milk and cheese increased by more than 14%, while prices obtained by producers in some Member States have decreased by 40% in one year,

1.  Considers that due to the continuing critical situation on the dairy market, both far-reaching and short-term measures are necessary, and points out that the measures taken by the Commission to date are not sufficient to solve the crisis in the sector; calls on the Commission to establish urgently which measures could bring about market stabilisation; calls on the Commission to undertake an in-depth evaluation with stakeholders and Member States on the future of the milk sector, in order to analyse the possibility of reinforcing management mechanisms that avoid price volatility;

2.  Reaffirms its commitment to the creation of an EU Dairy Fund of €600 million to aid producer organisations and cooperatives and to support farm investment, modernisation, diversification, area-based measures and marketing activities, and recalls that Parliament has already made such a request in the 2009 budget procedure;

3.  Asks the Commission to propose measures to help producers increase the added value of their products, especially in those areas where there are few production alternatives;

4.  Calls on the Commission to introduce immediate measures to stimulate demand for dairy products, and considers an extension of the scope, product range and financing of the school milk programme to be a good example of a feasible initiative; calls for closer coordination among the Commission DGs in this regard;

5.  Supports the immediate use of milk powder to feed calves, as a way of increasing demand for dairy products;

6.  Recalls that the clear labelling of dairy product substitutes such as cheese and other non- animal fat-based products is of vital importance, and should include specification of raw materials and country of origin; insists that products branded as dairy must be dairy products;

7.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to extend the intervention period for butter and skimmed milk powder until 28 February 2010, and considers that the intervention price must be increased, at least in the short term;

8.  Agrees that export refunds for milk and milk products remain necessary, and considers that the budgetary appropriations will have to be increased;

9.  Calls for the extension of private storage to cheese products and for adequate levels of support in order for this measure to be effective, as well as for an increase in the number of third countries - such as the US - to which EU cheese products may be exported with export refunds;

10. Calls on the Commission to examine, for the longer term and once export refunds are phased out, how the corresponding appropriations can be maintained in the dairy sector;

11. Calls on the Commission to allow agriculture export credit insurance, as practised in the US;

12. Calls on the Commission to examine the possibilities for an early retirement scheme for dairy producers, for example by setting up a quota buy-back scheme, similar to the grubbing-up scheme in the wine CMO;

13. Calls on the Commission to improve price transparency within the food supply chain, as consumer prices in many Member States remain conspicuously high despite dramatically decreased producer prices;

14. Calls on the Commission to submit its communication on food prices in Europe without delay; recalls that Parliament has long been asking the Commission to investigate potential abuses of market position in the food supply chain, especially in the dairy sector, and considers that this investigation is long overdue;

15. Considers that there is a need to establish a system that monitors commodity prices with full transparency, especially the prices paid by consumers;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.