Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister Calls for Measures to Support Ailing Dairy Sector

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 16, 2015, Monday // 19:20
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister Calls for Measures to Support Ailing Dairy Sector Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva, photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria has been plagued by a lasting downward trend in milk prices for a 12 month in a row and needs a quick solution to cope with the situation in the dairy sector, according to Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva.

Speaking at a regular meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Taneva noted that the situation in Bulgaria’s dairy sector was deteriorating against the backdrop of the Russian embargo and the end of the quota system.

Taneva, as cited by the press office of the Bulgarian Agriculture Ministry, called on her colleagues to take part in the preparation of a set of measures to support the sector, taking into account the specificities of the different EU Member States.

“The measures to support milk producers, which have been adopted by the European Commission, are inapplicable in Bulgaria,” she emphasized, adding that Bulgaria backed a joint proposal with Romania, which had been submitted to the Council in January, on the introduction of additional measures to help the dairy sector cope with the consequences of the Russian embargo.

“These measures will also contribute to a smoother transition of the sector from the quota system to a free market against the backdrop of the ban on exports to Russia,” she declared.

Tancho Kolev from the National Association of Meat and Dairy Producers told investor.bg that purchase prices of milk had dropped by around 35% in a year to a current rate of BGN 0.40-0.60 per liter.

He made clear that industry representatives opposed massive imports of Polish milk, including condensed milk, by dairy farms, without milk prices in food shops dropping.

According to investor.bg, dairy producers have also risen against a corrupt practice that has been in place since the introduction of the Russian embargo, namely the repackaging of imported cheese and yellow cheese so as to sell the products as locally produced food.

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Tags: Agriculture Minister, Desislava Taneva, Russian embargo, dairy farm, dairy products, milk prices, agriculture and fisheries council

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