EU officials urged to cut dairy production

May 25, 2009 at 1:53 PM

BRUSSELS, May 25 (UPI) -- Union officials in France say the European Union should alter its current dairy policy and cut production of industry goods to eliminate a global surplus.

Oliver Picot of the French Federation of Milk Industries said with European dairy sales limited despite steady production, action must be taken to avoid suffering additional losses, Euronews.net reported Monday.

"A large part of French and European milk is exported to the rest of the world as butter or powder. These markets have collapsed. Historically, they're at their lowest ever level because China and Russia aren't buying. Today this is leaving a global surplus with huge losses for business," Picot said.

Dairy farmers in Europe have also urged for a cut in dairy production in response to commercial dairies reportedly cutting their payments by 30 percent amid increased competition.

"The price is too low and it just has to be increased. Volume has to go down, as there is too much milk," a German farmer, whose identity was not reported, said.

Euronews.net said agriculture ministers had a meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss issues such as possible production cuts, which the European Commission has ruled out.

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