The Regional Minister for Rural Affairs, Rosa Quintana
assured on Tuesday that the situation of the Galician dairy sector is due to “a problem of adjustment between supply and demand of milk ” that is reproduced worldwide, a situation to which it has committed the support of the Xunta, which will allocate with 2020 horizon almost 650 million euros to various initiatives related to the sector.
Quintana, who has appeared at his own request in the Extraordinary Plenary Session hosted by the Galician Parliament, has ensured that the price situation of milk in Galicia is part of a “generalized fall in milk prices worldwide”, which connects with a “generalized rise in production”.
According to the minister, in countries like the United States, one of the world’s largest consumers of dairy products, “milk is being discarded”, a world situation that causes a “problem of mismatch between supply and demand of prices.”
“No one denies that we are going through a time of mismatch and adaptation of supply and demand and, therefore, of price,” said Quintana, who, however, has assured that production in the Community is the highest in the world. historical series and that 56 percent of Galicia’s milk is being charged at 29.81 cents per liter.
In this regard, he admitted that the “situation is hard”, although not more than in August 2012, when the prices of milk in Galicia were similar, but the production costs “were 20 percentage points higher than now”.
The head of Rural Environment has indicated that “between what has already been paid and what is expected to pay in the short term” to the sector add about 150 million euros invested, of which 95 million were direct aid to farms -an average of 9.845 euros per operation–.
To these funds, the council has added the contributions provided in the Rural Development Program (PDR), which would involve an injection of 500 million euros with 2020 horizon for modernization of farms, organic farming, producer organizations and promotion of differentiated quality, among other elements.
Rosa Quintana has claimed that, since 2009, the Xunta has adopted measures to improve the competitiveness of farms, their financial and liquidity capacity, as well as their commercial structure.
In this line, the regional government has worked on improving the territorial base of farms through the laws of Land Mobility and Improvement of the Territorial Agrarian Structure. With the aim of improving the financial and liquidity capacity, the Xunta also published the decree that regulates the recognition and registration of the Producer Organizations and is committed to projects of productive and transformative integration.
The Ministry of Agriculture, recalled Quintana, approved since 2012 three royal decrees to complete the regulation of the Law of Measures to Improve the Functioning of the Food Chain, rules that constitute the regulatory framework to make firm the obligation of contracts with fixed price and collection term.
By way of summary, Rosa Quintana said that in total there are more than 20 measures or blocks of measures in which the Xunta and the central government work to “move the sector forward.”
Among the short-term measures, the counsellers highlighted the need to obtain liquidity from the farms, with the streamlining of the CAP payments for the modernization and the incorporation of young people, which will soon be an injection of 20 millions of euros; advances of aid or agreements to favor the granting of loans or advances under advantageous conditions- 3 step process.
In the field of liquidity, Quintana has announced that an aid order will soon be published to reach a two-year moratorium on loans granted to farmers at zero interest, which will have 1,100 potential beneficiaries. The elderly, Rural and Economy will allow access to 10 million euros of working capital for dairy farms in two ways, refinancing bank liabilities through loans of up to seven years or accessing new currency through loans of up to three years.
On the other hand, the conselleira has bet by the promotion of the consumption and the putting in a value of the product, with measures like the “imminent” start-up of a campaign of the stamp of quality ‘Galega 100%’ and the promotion of the milk consumption between children.
In their replies, the opposition groups have accused the councilor of being “with crossed arms” before the “serious” problem of the dairy sector and have demanded a price increase that allows farmers to cover production costs and make profitable the exploitations.
“I accuse her of being idle this last year with respect to the dairy sector”, said during his speech, the Socialist deputy Pablo Garcia, who has asked the Xunta to pronounce on the fair price at which they should charge the milk Galician farmers and has claimed more involvement in a “serious problem” of the sector.
On the other hand, the deputy of AGE Antón Sánchez has assured that a 30 percent of the dairy exploitations Galician are “charging prices that do not arrive, nor of far, to cover the costs of production” and are “in danger of closing”. He also criticized the councilor who came to Parliament to “say a vademecum” of measures but “not the solutions” to the “extreme situation” that live the farms.
In the same line, Tereixa Paz, of the BNG, has assured that the “main problem” of the Galician dairy sector is “the price” and has denounced that “blackmails” are taking place to farms, to which they “threaten” with “no Collect “milk if prices do not go down agreed. Thus, he has accused Quintana of being “next to whoever is trying to destroy the dairy sector” and has warned him that he “will have to choose” side.
The deputy of Mixed Group Carmen Iglesias has asked for an “urgent rise” in the prices of milk collection and has opted to launch from the Xunta programs of “recovery of consumption” after the “bad image” that milk has had in recent years and its competition with derivatives of soy or other products.
Finally, the popular deputy Isabel García Pacín has praised the measures outlined by the Conselleria and has assured that the Government is “betting not only on the dairy sector”, but “on all the productive industries of rural Galicia.”