Subsidies for milk and pig sector

Owners of milk farms and pig farms have been granted a one-off compensation for the low prices they are getting for their products. A more sustainable solution for the problem will be worked to avoid new crises in the future.

Milk farmers held various protests in August. They say the price they are getting for 1 litre of milk hardly covers production costs (or is even insufficient). The same goes for the pig industry, where farmers are under increasing pressure to produce more for less money.

Milkmen will get 2.7 eurocents extra for each litre of milk during 6 months, a subsidy worth a total of 46 million euros. The pig meat sector is getting 30 million in compensation. Piet Van Themsche of the farmers' union (Boerenbond) says this may sound like a lot of money, but it won't even compensate the low prices farmers have been receiving for their products: "We are trying to give the sector some breathing space in the short run. But this doesn't cover the losses our people incurred due to the low prices."

The cash must come from the different players in the food chain, like the agricultural industry, the distribution sector and the supermarket stores. Consumers should not become the only ones to pay the bill. This will also be translated into a permanent framework to provide a sustainable solution for farmers in the long run.