(samosas and cheese provided)

Monkton Wyld Court January 9th, 2016- 1 pm

Monkton Wyld Court, Elsdon’s Lane, Bridport DT6 6DQ, United Kingdom

Kannaiyan Subramaniyam, a farmer from Karnataka in India, of the South Indian Coordination committee of Farmers Movements is speaking about the impact of the globalization on Indian dairy farmers followed by a discussion of alternative solutions to the dairy crisis.

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The dairy industry this year is in a state of unprecedented crisis with the price per litre paid to farmers being far below the cost of production due to a collapse in global milk prices. Te governments response to this crisis, however, has not been to guarantee a fair price for dairy farmers, but instead to announce a strategy for increasing the export of milk products to Asia. Much of the target for this milk is to China and Russia, but the export of milk to Russia has been banned in the sanctions and China has recently started to massively increase its own milk production in an attempt to supply Russia. Therefore the looming new export market is India- home of the world’s strongest “people’s milk” industry.

The majority of milk production in India is carried out by small-scale, ofen landless farmers, who get a large share of the total price paid by consumers (77 per cent) so it ofers many of India’s farmers a way out of poverty. Te dairy sector the major source of income for an estimated 90 million people.

The EU- India Free Trade Agreement negotiations were launched in 2007, but are not yet fnalised. One of the barriers to completion of the FTA is India’s opposition to reducing tarifs on Dairy products – which the the European Dairy Association (EDA) and the EU dairy trade association (Eucolait) have been lobbying in the negotiations to put tarifs down to near zero levels.

The Indian government is currently imposing tarifs on imported milk products to protect India’s thriving dairy industry. If the Indian dairy market, targeted by EU dairy producers, were to lower tarifs on agricultural and dairy products would have serious implications for Indian dairy farmers because their products risk competitive pressures from cheap EU imports of powdered milk from large scale dairy farms, which the EU heavily subsidises and protects.

What is up for discussion is how the global trade in milk and the price volatility associated with the global milk trade impacts the livelihoods of small dairy farms in Europe. We would like to discuss how the UK government and the EU can work to protect small scale dairy farmers across Europe through more market regulation to protect farmers from price volatility on the global market. We are particularly interested in thinking about how farmers can be assured of a price per litre for milk that covers the costs of production and helps the industry to thrive. We also want to hear your ideas about how we can build up the “Campaign for Real Milk” here in the UK.

For more information contact Jyoti Fernandes at jyoti@tlio.org.uk

This event is sponsored by:

Landworkers’ Alliance landworkersalliance.org.uk

Via Campesina viacampesina.org

and the project Hand on the Land https://handsontheland.net