Editorial 32: The death of milk livestock
It is said that the current situation of milk producers livestock in a country of the European Union whose name I prefer not to remind of, can convert in a political conflict. Thus the ministry of agriculture has decided to create a commission of work to improve the norms that regulate the activity of production, transformation and trades of milk, continuous analysis of costs, processes and prices applied to diffferent links of value chain. Fantastic!!! Salvation to the farmers has arrived.
Some structural defects have been attributed to the sector, who has lost 65% of its milk farms in the last decade, like loss of generation relief, fault in modernization and innapropiate dimensions. In an exercise of arrogance, the sector has been adviced to reconvert by concentration of the farms and increase of trading capability opposite to milk dealers. These suggestions go with a threat, the irruption in scene of the national commission of competition, in case of the farmers act irresponsibly.
But let’s reveal now the truth that’s hidden behind appearance, as Conan Doyle would say, a truth that derives of the takeover character of agricultural policy of the European Union (first intervention in 1984 with creation of milk shares), two later interventions (1991 and 1994) together with selfwillingness of government administration who said, in 2001, that the application of legislation may be helpful to modernize and reorganize a sector that was in a grave situation thanks to the period 2000-2001 “had carried roughly 44.000 updatings of share, which include: abandonments of production, acquisitions on National Coordinated Resource of milk shares and National Reserve, transfers, cessions and pourings” and that “something more than 13.000 proceedings have been transacted, related to applications that have been denied and therefore have not supposed updatings of database. This quantity, added to the previous one, supposes a total of 57.000 transacted proceedings, what means almost a file for each farmer.
In “Veterinaria Digital” we ask ourselves how can anybody think that transacting of 57.000 files in one year it would be possible to modernize and reorganize a sector. The truth is that after 10 years of transaction fever the sector has lost 65% of its farms and the share has become a key fact of the farming business, and management systems of this share are determinant to the farmer at the time to take decisions.
Milk share taken into account as a management system and base to take decisions, it is a political weapon, assumed since incorporation to European Union, far from technological decisions and quality production culture, nothing to do with agricultural sector and country farming.
The absence of generation relief, modernization and inappropiate dimensions are the consequence of the use of this political weapon, not the cause of the sector situation, contrary as saviors want to show and make believe.
This situation of the sector has gone degrading year after year and the current war of prices derived of the wholesale auctionning to commercialize milk with white mark in the hypermarkets ( 30,2 cents for sale front of 50 cents of costs/liter) has ended in threat of dissapearance of milk livestock. Dissapearance that may speed up in function of the degree of intervention to “instruct and save” a sector who, moreover, is unprotected front to the increase of costs of food, of administrative costs, of price and taxes and if there’s no repair, it will convert in another victim of economic recession when actually it could be one of the sources of economic recovery if managers of the country thought in terms of production instead of thinking in speculative ones and using bureaucracy as a weapon of intervention and repression.
And finally the key questions: to who benefits dissapearance of milk livestock and which connections can be established between the benefited and the interventionists?