Agriculture and the food industry are under massive pressure – and that’s been the case for some time. That pressure is not just coming from one source either, but several. In addition to that, the sector faces challenges due to the coronavirus. As a company, we reacted early to this issue and took all the measures necessary, showing consumers and politicians that we are a reliable partner and are able to keep supplying high quality food in these difficult times.
But even before the virus, as an industry, we still faced many chal - lenges. Consumers and retailers are making ever greater demands of agricultural products. They want them to be GMO-free, organic, low fat, high in protein – and all that in ecological packaging and convenient as well. We are glad to fulfill these wishes as a compa - ny and as farmers – but they do not come without additional effort and that should be rewarded.
All of us, farmers, DMK as a company, and the dairy industry as a whole, want the same thing: To produce food of the best quality, and fair prices for these high-quality agricultural products.
That is why we must position ourselves not only as a company but also as an industry. We must act as a team and speak with a single, united voice, because only then, when we are on the same level as consumers, the food retail trade and decision-makers in Berlin and Brussels, can we address these issues. For too many years, our voice as an industry has been missing from the debate. Up until now, DBV, MIV and DRV only represented their own posi - tion in the dairy industry to society or politicians. Now, though, we are combining our powers to increase our clout and in the future, our voices will be heard. We are proud of the strategy we presented for the dairy industry at the Green Week trade fair in January 2020.
Now, we need to gather round swiftly and support the measures we decided on. Our recipe for success: One team, one strategy and one strong voice.
...with consumers, politicians and the media, to avoid future misunderstandings. We will actively shape the debate by providing transparent information. We will also improve people’s knowledge about production methods and that way, will help them to better understand and accept the dairy industry.
We will continue to develop the quality manage - ment system and at the same time, we will fight to ensure that requirements that go beyond those standards are rewarded accordingly. That’s the only way that farmers can cover the higher production costs involved.
That means considering sensible tools and using them to mitigate the economic effects of price fluctuations, for example using market information systems, introducing volume planning and price differentiation models. Fixed price models could also be an option for dairies.
These measures range from initiatives to ensure people are paid fairly, to establishing any further training programs needed. Our goal is to make the industry more attractive for farm employees and successors, to ensure enough skilled labor is available.
German dairies and dairy farmers are competing with their professional counterparts around the world. That means as an industry, we need to make sure that current subsidies, such as for exports, are being used and that the interests of the dairy industry are taken into account when trade agreements are made.