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Opinion Number: CDR 13/2011
Rapporteur: MÜLLER Emilia
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 12/05/2011
 
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- points out that the dairy production is of major significance in the European Union: in many Member States and regions, it is a key pillar of the regional economy and agricultural added value. Milk production therefore has an important environmental role, has an enduring impact on the cultural landscape and is an important employer in rural areas;

- is of the opinion that the reform process needs to take account of regional and structural differences in dairy farming and the dairy industry. In many regions, most milk is produced on small and medium-sized family farms while in other areas milk production is dominated by large agricultural holdings. The reforms to the dairy sector must therefore not put these structures at risk, particularly those that contribute to sustainable growth;

- supports the European Commission's initiative of introducing certain common rules for milk producer organisations in the EU so that all milk producers in all regions have the option of joining forces, including across borders;

- therefore thinks it would be appropriate to continue to allow Member States to recognise producer organisations and associations thereof in the milk sector under national law, in line with certain requirements under EU law;

- welcomes the Commission's proposal to authorise sectoral organisations in the milk and milk products sector, in order to give real impetus in terms of research and development, promotion of organic production and sales promotion;

- notes that a reliable, responsive safety net that can react quickly and effectively to unusual changes in the market or prices is a requirement for a forward-looking EU milk production.
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