The milk package focuses on strengthening contractual relations between farmers and processors in order to improve producers weak position in the food chain and to enable them to get a better return from the market.
The EU milk market has meanwhile improved since the worst of the crisis last year.
EU milk prices have been rising since August 2016, mainly as a result of increased demand from China and the USA as well as actions taken by the European Commission since June 2016.
The increased prices on now to starting to feed through to producers.
But EU agri-cooperative Copa and Cogeca has called on the EU Commission and Minsters to remain vigilant as the markets are still fragile, with it taking time for producers to recover their cash flow.
Copa Vice-President Henri Brichart said: “Dairy farmers have suffered a lot recently and contracts under the package help to reduce the impact of market volatility and give producers some predictability.”
The National Farmers Union has also said the EU milk package must continue post 2020.
What is the Milk Package?
Adopted under co-decision in 2012, the Milk Package was aimed at strengthening the position of dairy producers in the dairy supply chain and preparing the sector for a more market-oriented and sustainable future, seeking in particular to learn lessons from the 2009 dairy market crisis.
EU Member States have the option to make written contracts between farmers and processors compulsory in the milk sector, and it allows farmers to negotiate contract terms collectively within certain limits.
The package also sets out specific EU rules for inter-branch organizations, allowing actors in the milk supply chain to dialogue and carry out certain activities and Member States are allowed, under certain conditions, to apply rules to regulate the supply of PDO/PGI cheeses. The package also entails a series of measures enhancing transparency in the market.