what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Contractual relations in the milk and milk products sector

Between 2007 and 2009, after rising briefly the milk price collapsed as a result of structural overproduction.

Another factor behind the collapse was the EU's initial phasing out of milk quotas.

The glut of milk forced many farmers to sell at loss, but dairies and supermarkets failed to pass on the drop in prices to consumers.

The Commission suggested establishing a producer organisation for dairy farmers to boost their bargaining power vis-à-vis dairies and supermarkets. This would have led to greater transparency in the supply chain and made it easier for farmers to earn a living from their produce.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that dairy farmers should have the bargaining power they need to obtain fair farm-gate prices and make a living off their produce.

Consequently, we supported the Commission's proposal, but wanted it to be strengthened in several areas.

For instance, we called for binding contract frameworks and sufficient support for dairy farmer organisations to give them a chance to stand up to industrial dairies and supermarket chains.

Agreements concluded within such frameworks should make provision for renegotiations in the event of any sharp drop in prices.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens were unable to prevent the Commission's proposal from being severely watered down during the negotiations.

Since the final version of the text lacked any substance, we decided to vote against it, though it went on to be adopted by the majority anyway.


Which points did the Greens lose?
The measures proposed in the adopted report are insufficient to avert future milk crises. Proposals made by the Greens to strengthen dairy farmers, set up a price-monitoring agency and boost support for local processing were all rejected.
Press & Events

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:James Nicholson (ECR)

Green MEP responsible:Martin Häusling


Staff contact:Hannes Lorenzen (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?