All over the world, the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown destabilize food markets and trade as well as the entire food and agricultural system. The milk sector is strongly affected. European lockdown measures have led to a slump in milk prices, already under pressure because of the structural overproduction in this sector.
Beyond European borders, West-African milk producers are also facing extra problems because of the coronavirus. Supply chains are strongly disturbed. Dairies in cities are forced to close or drastically reduce their production for lack of adequate supply in local milk.
To tackle the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission decided to store milk surpluses. A dangerous choice which will inevitably lead to destocking. This will result in lower prices for milk producers in Europe, but also in increased exports of European fat-filled milk powder in West-Africa, at derisory prices. Under these circumstances, it is impossible for local milk producers to have a profitable business.
On the occasion of World Milk Day, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium, Oxfam, SOS Faim, Comité Francais pour la Solidarité Internationale, the actors campaigning for « Mon lait est local » and the European Milk Board, are happy to invite you to the webinar « Le Covid-19 intensifie la crise laitière actuelle en Afrique de l’Ouest et en Europe » this Friday 29 May, from 11.30 am to 1 pm. We will focus on short- and long-term solutions for milk producers in West Africa and Europe with a panel of experts from both regions.
- Gilles Vias (Mali), Director of Operations in West Africa for Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium – Overview of the challenges and opportunities for the local milk sector in West Africa.
- Erwin Schöpgens (Belgium), Belgian milk producer, representative of the European Milk Board and Faircoop – Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on local milk producers in Europe and link with milk producers in West-Africa.
- Hindatou Amadou (Burkina Faso), spokeswoman for the West-African farmers’ organisation APESS (Association pour la Promotion de l’Elevage au Sahel et en Savanne) and representative of the West-African campaign “Mon lait est local” – Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on local milk producers in West Africa.
- Bio Goura Soulé (Nigeria), technical assistant livestock and pastoralism for ECOWAS – “Offensive Lait” and West-African government initiatives to address the milk crisis.
- Michèle Rivasi (France), European MP for the Greens/European Free Alliance – How can Europe support the local milk sector in West Africa through her agricultural, commercial and cooperation policies?
The webinar will take place in French.
Follow the webinar this Friday 29 May from 11.30 am (GMT+2) live on our Facebook page.
Since 2019, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium, Oxfam, SOS Faim, Comité Francais pour la Solidarité Internationale, European Milkboard and the actors campaigning for « Mon lait est local » are working together to promote the campaign « N’exportons pas nos problèmes ! ». More information on www.nexportonspasnosproblemes.org.