A lead to the next two posts was given by a most helpful reader from Dairy Farmers of Scotland.
‘Fair Milk’ is available in Austria . . .
The payment dairy farmers receive for their milk has steadily fallen since 2001 but production costs (i.e. fodder costs, rent) have risen dramatically. Tens of thousands of farmers have stopped dairy farming and this has had an adverse effect on the economies of many regions in Europe – the interdependence factor explained briefly here.
To counteract this trend, dairy farmers in many countries across Europe have joined forces with the European Milk Board‘s pan-European campaign “The Fair Milk” points out new paths to fair prices for consumers and farmers. A first step was the introduction of Faironika – the life-size artificial cow in the colours of the EU or individual countries.
In Austria you can already buy Fair Milk. The price farmers get for that milk allows them to cover the costs of production.
. . . and now Luxembourg!
In 2008 there were calls from some groups for a fair trade-style scheme for the European bloc’s milk farmers.
In 2009, angry farmers besieged talks in Luxembourg in the latest of a series of protests against low milk prices and plummeting incomes: the slogan on some tractors: ‘Europe needs fair milk prices’.
Armoured trucks virtually sealed off a meeting of EU farm ministers as demonstrators took to the streets once more, tipping milk away to signal disgust that it now costs more to produce than they can sell it for.
Fredy de Martines reports:
“In February 2011 the milk producers that are members of the Luxembourg Dairy Board (LDB) presented their own milk brand: “D’fair Mëllech“. Having founded an agricultural cooperative called “Fairkoperativ Letzebuerg“ and having prepared everything for months they were able to start selling their milk for a fair price.
“The project met with a lot of interest in the ministries that are in charge: sustainability and agriculture. Negotiations with the only dairy in Luxemburg were initiated to discuss packaging and delivery of milk to the shops. Having reached certain agreements the biggest retail chains included the new product in their range of products. Some private shops included the first “fair” product from Luxemburg immediately in their range of products.
“A marketing company was put in charge of the marketing concept. As part of the public relations work the press in Luxemburg received an invitation for a press conference. During this extraordinary press conference that took place on a dairy farm the media representatives could see how the “Fair Mëllech“ is really produced. Newspapers covered the basic principle behind the “Fair Milk” and the standards for a sustainable agriculture that the farmers have to meet when they produce “fair Mëllech“ extensively. The sensible and well-planned start of the nation-wide marketing worked thus very well.
“In the meantime about 50 dairy farmers joined the “Fairkoperativ Letzebuerg“. The founding members see that they took the right decision and that the step towards self-marketing is worth it and they already plan to take the next steps on the market in Luxemburg.”
The LDB website posts can be translated.