UFU welcomes launch of the Milk Market Observatory

Thursday, 17 April, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union have welcomed the launch of the European Milk Market Observatory (MMO) by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş, saying that the observatory is a step in right direction to giving producers up-to-date information which they can use when making business decisions. The Commission envisages that the MMO will act as an early warning system, alerting dairy stakeholders to a major shock in milk prices (as seen in 2008/09) and mitigate against volatility post abolition of quota in 2015. 

Present at the launch and representing UK Dairy farmers was UFU Senior Policy Officer Chris Osborne who said that while the MMO is very much still work in progress it will go a long way as a monitoring tool to enhancing the decision making process at both EU and local levels. He said: “Aimed at increasing transparency and providing the most accurate market data the MMO will compile, publish and update a website with the most accurate market data for dairy industry stakeholders. This will strengthen the Commissions capacity to monitor dairy markets as we approach a post quota policy environment.  The observatory will follow and analyse past and present trends in EU and world dairy markets, production, supply and demand balance and costs of production. The MMO will meet every quarter to analyse the market situation, with the first meeting on 27 May.” 

Chris continued: "Northern Ireland is more exposed to dairy commodity volatility compared to the rest of UK, since we export a greater quantity of our product onto EU and global markets. The key message from DG Agri has been that the MMO is to establish a trend analysis for EU dairy markets, not absolute final prices and this mirrors our own Milk Price Indicator (MPI). We strongly believe that we have much to offer the MMO in terms of the UFU MPI template and will make sure that as a devolved region within an EU Member State we have an effective voice in the Observatory.”