Farmers announce crisis in dairy sector in Latvia

The Dairy Industry Working Group of the Agricultural Organizations Council (LOSP) decided on May 18 to ask the government to immediately announce a state of emergency in the dairy sector in Latvia due to a prolonged fall in milk buying prices, and to implement intervention in the dairy market.

In a statement to the media, the LOSP stated that since February “dairy producers have been forced to work below production cost”.

“This situation, which has been going on for several months, is unbearable for Latvian dairy producers, and many have no chance of surviving in such circumstances,” said Guntis Gūtmanis, Chairman of the Board of Governors of LOSP.

“The dramatic and sustained drop in milk purchase prices has already brought a huge blow to dairy producers, and it is not possible to work in such circumstances for a long time. The current crisis in the dairy sector threatens the future existence of the industry in Latvia,” said Gūtmanis.

Piena cenu dinamika

Photo: EC Milk Market Review

Dairy farmers request the government to decide on measures to preserve the dairy sector in Latvia in the long term.

The LOSP member organizations are calling for the immediate adoption of the state of emergency in dairy farming and the abolition of the real estate tax in 2023 for dairy farms. Farmers also call on the government to set up an institution, a “Food Regulator”, which would impose margin limits and fair competition between the producer, processor, and trader of the product.

Dairy farmers also request to set requirements for traders to separate shelves or stands for Latvian food products, and to visibly trademark the product, as well as to indicate the breakdown of the mark-up between the producer, processor and trader of the product on the packaging.

LOSP also stressed that “the dairy sector provides jobs in the regions, tax contributions to the State budget, the maintenance of Latvia's regions and landscapes and preservation of the environment, as well as the availability of the local product for Latvian residents”.

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