Procedure : 2009/2663(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0054/2009

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 17/09/2009 - 2
CRE 17/09/2009 - 2

Votes :

PV 17/09/2009 - 4.7

Texts adopted :


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

further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0208/2009

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the crisis in the dairy farming sector

Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Paolo De Castro, Luís Paulo Alves, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Iratxe García Pérez, Alan Kelly, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the crisis in the dairy farming sector  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 18 and 19 June 2009, during which the current situation of the dairy sector was analysed and the Commission was invited to present an in-depth market analysis within two months, with possible options for stabilising the market while respecting the outcome of the Health Check,

–   having regard to the Commission communication to the Council on the dairy market situation (COM(2009) 385/4),

–   having regard to the final conclusions of the Health Check (CNS/2008/0104),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal (COM(2009)354) extending public intervention for butter and skimmed milk powder for the running intervention period,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the resolution of Parliament on food prices in Europe (2008/2175(INI)),

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

A. whereas the situation of the dairy market has deteriorated dramatically over the past twelve months, and this has led many European producers to hold public demonstrations and act to raise public awareness on the issue,

B.  whereas EU milk production has not increased over recent years, and whereas on the Commission’s assessment total milk production as at 31 March 2009 was estimated to be 4.2 % below the overall quota; whereas, therefore, the current dairy market crisis is now meeting difficult market conditions which call for strong and decisive action from the Commission on the demand side in order to improve and stabilise the dairy market,

C. whereas the price of milk delivered on the dairy market has fallen to 0.24 €/Kg on average for European farmers, and this has seriously affected dairy producers’ income,

D. whereas the current price slump for dairy producers has not been accompanied by a decrease in the prices paid by consumers,

Notes the report on the situation of the dairy market, in which the Commission sets out the catalogue of measures available to help alleviate the very difficult market situation;


Notes the outcome of the Council meeting of 7 September 2009;


3.  Regrets the fact that the Commission has underestimated certain emerging signs of crisis in the dairy market sector, which were already visible when the agreement on the Health Check was reached in November 2008;


4.  Urges the Commission to develop a strategy which goes beyond this catalogue of measures; stresses the need for a comprehensive approach combining short-term measures with reflection on a medium-term strategy;

5.  Calls on the Commission to take additional measures to tackle the crisis, such as:

–   to consider an adequate indemnity for the producers who remain below their quotas, on condition that those quotas are not reallocated;

–   to extend the measures of storage intervention foreseen in the Commission proposal for butter and milk powder to cover cheese products as well;

–   to speed up the creation of the dairy fund and to use it also to help meet the financial needs of small producers and young farmers;

6.  Recalls that a clear labelling of dairy product substitutes such as cheese and other non-animal fat-based products is of vital importance, and insists that products branded as dairy must be 100% dairy products;

7.  Asks the Commission to review and strengthen the Community marketing standards for dairy products in order to guarantee the use of this term for products made exclusively from milk and to eliminate labelling that may mislead consumers;

8.  Insists on the European nature of the crisis in the dairy sector, and calls on the Commission to assume its responsibility in the search for common solutions, avoiding inequalities among Member States and the distortions of the market arising from national aids;

9.  Strongly welcomes the Commission’s commitment to investigate potential sources of market failure in the dairy supply chain in cooperation with the national authorities, and urges the Commission to take appropriate measures if irregularities are identified;

10. Urges the Commission to enhance the effective and efficient functioning of the supply chain, in particular by enhancing market transparency (creating a European observatory for agricultural products, input and food prices in order to improve monitoring of these data at EU level), facilitating fairer market operation, and encouraging producers’ organisations through cooperatives or other organisations;

11. Notes the progress achieved by the Commission, including widening the product range and simplifying the management process developed by the School Milk Programme; nevertheless, calls for an increase in the unitary amount of aid in order to achieve a real impact on reactivating demand;

12. Calls for the reintroduction of aid for the use of skimmed milk powder (SMP) in the manufacture of fodder, in order to promote the use of this commodity;

13. Asks the Commission to keep Parliament regularly informed on the development of the dairy market situation during the forthcoming months;

14. Recalls that Member States have a considerable number of instruments available to them to alleviate dairy market difficulties and to assist in the much-needed restructuring of the sector.

15. Requests, notwithstanding the decisions adopted in the CAP Health Check, a temporary revision of the limits established in Article 68 in order to allow greater flexibility in its implementation;

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

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