Agriculturalist association resigns from national milk council management amid price row
ANKARAThe head of the Agriculturalists Association of Turkey (TZOB) has said the association will no longer be at the management of the National Milk Council amid a rising price row across the sector.
The TZOB’s Şemsi Bayraktar noted the livestock sector in Turkey has faced difficult days, especially for producers, at a press meeting on March 18, during which the association also launched a national milk consumption campaign.
“Milk production prices have remained the same over the last 20 months without any increase. Even for the last couple of months, the price has been much lower than the reference amount, set by the National Milk Council at 1.15 Turkish Liras per liter, to around 70 kuruş, although the production cost is 98.4 kuruş. If the National Milk Council, of which the board is composed of representatives from three ministries, three universities, three industrialists and three producers with an industrialist president, cannot keep its reference price intact, it must be abolished as an organization in which milk producers are not represented as much as required,” he said.
“In this climate, we are resigning from the National Milk Council. We will no longer be at the council management,” he noted.
“We do not want to be a part of this organization, which is quite ineffective in protecting producers and regulating milk prices,” he added.
Even several campaigns in a bid to increase milk consumption, such as the School Milk Program, could not succeed in increasing the prices.
“It is not acceptable to see the milk prices were down to 70 kuruş per liter,” he said.
Supermarket prices increasing
Bayraktar said supermarket prices have hiked by around 25.4 percent over the last 20 months, although the production prices have been continuously decreasing.
“We support the industry, but if farmers need to sell their animals while industrialists keep building new factories there is a serious unfairness here,” he noted.
Saying that free market conditions cannot be created in Turkey’s agricultural sector, Bayraktar added the Meat and Milk Institution cannot become active effectively.
“Even one or two months matter here. A serious milk crisis is about to burst unless the institution intervenes in the sector as soon as possible,” he noted.
Bayraktar said prices will likely decrease to 50 kuruş or even below and meat prices will increase further unless the required measures are taken immediately.
He also announced the launch of a new campaign to entice more milk consumption across the country.