The EMB – an umbrella organisation for European dairy farmer representative groups – has said that a broad range of problems is “taking a massive toll” on the dairy and broader food production sector.
These problems, the board said, include costs; drought; feed scarcity; fertiliser shortages; large-scale farm abandonment; closure of dairies and other food processors; and a reduction in milk volume.
The EMB is calling the EU and its member states to implement measures for these sectors, including energy price caps for dairy farms, milk processors and other stakeholders in the dairy production chain and food production sector.
The organisation said that dairy farmers and their families “cannot cope with the explosion in costs”.
The EMB is also calling for financial aid for active farms and processors to help with energy costs.
Sieta van Keimpema, the organisation’s president, commented: “The individual actors in the agricultural sector and along the food production chain are dependent on energy and production inputs being available at foreseeable prices.
“Today, there is a gradual domino effect and each link in the chain pulls the next one down with it.”
She cited the example of high gas prices, which have lead to interruptions in fertiliser production, which in turn results in higher prices as well as fertiliser and feed shortages, which van Keimpema described as “an additional enormous burden on farmers who are already confronted with rising energy costs of their own”.
“This pushes them to reduce production. This then has an effect on food processors, many of whom are already closing their doors due to their own higher energy costs,” the Dutch dairy farmer added.
The EMB has said that current economic situation is a “wartime economy”. The group called on the EU to take constructive steps to address this.