Dairy producers in the south of Spain are demanding that they receive a fair price for cow’s milk to help keep their farms profitable. Otherwise, they will be forced to close them.
Through social media networks and a website (www.conlalechealcuello.org), the farmers have launched a hard-hitting campaign to graphically explain the situation they are currently experiencing.
Producing a litre of milk on a small farm in Andalucía costs 39 cents, but the industry pays them only 33 cents, before they sell it at an average price of 60 cents to consumers. The dairy farmers consider that it is too low and believe that it is fair that it could be sold on the supermarket shelves for 80 cents.
The group points out the low price of cow's milk is used to attract buyers to supermarkets. "They put the milk at a very low price (between 20 and 69 cents) to encourage people to shop in their establishment", it says on its website.
Dairy farmers say they are going through a critical period because "the costs to feed their animals in the last year have increased by 35 per cent."
Through their campaign and the various protests that have taken place this summer, the milk producers demand that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food act. They demand compliance with current regulations. “The milk sector is the only one that has an official contract for the regulation of the price of the product, but this contract continuously fails to comply with the Food Chain Law (each operator of the food chain must pay the immediately preceding one a price equal to or higher than the effective cost of production)”, they point out in the new campaign, which has been designed by La Leonera Comunicación.
There are almost 500 dairy farms in southern Spain, most of them in Andalucía. Although it is not one of the most important livestock sectors in the region, it is important for the nearly two thousand families that live on them. Its disappearance would not only affect their economies, but also rural life, since thanks to this livestock segment it has been possible to stop the depopulation of many inland areas.