“Acting for a fair remuneration for milk”. They were around a hundred demonstrators equipped with their tractors and trailers gathered Thursday morning in front of the walls of the Richesmonts cheese dairy in Brioude at the initiative of the agricultural unions. It is a real fed up that is expressed in the ranks of dairy producers crushed by charges and galloping inflation that is ruining their treasuries.
This is the observation of Laurine Rousset, the president of the Jeunes agricultures (JA) of Haute-Loire, who regrets that faced with very high costs, the Brivadoise dairy, which produces raclette cheese, does not play the game in terms of remuneration in the price of milk paid to the producer. “They currently remunerate milk at 403 euros per tonne for conventional and 433 euros per tonne for organic milk, which is quite insufficient and often lower than what other collectors practice in Haute-Loire. »
Everyone is united around this observation. “Today, we want to give a warning shot and we are demanding that Sodiaal immediately put 20 euros in the price increase paid to the producer”, explains Eric Richard, from the dairy section of the Departmental Federation of Farmers’ Unions. (FDSEA).
“The costs are flying and the producers can no longer do it”
The Sodiaal group, the parent company of the Richesmonts cheese dairy, explains its policy by “uncertainties of being able to pass on price increases to its customers in a context of inflation”. However, a 10 to 15% increase was made this summer, passed on in July to the labels of in-store milk packs.
Nevertheless, the situation is serious. “The costs are soaring and the producers are no longer able to do it,” explains Laurine Rousset, who lists soaring prices for fuels, fertilizers, cereals or even food, in a very gloomy picture. For her: a single watchword: “The cheese company must take our production costs more into account!” »
“Farms have been hunkering down for too long when today global demand is strong and the production dynamic is weak,” said Julien Duplomb, representative of the dairy section of JA 43.
The unions also deplore the fact that for the past year companies have devalued the price of organic milk. They Overall, the mobilized unions are asking cooperation “to assume its leadership role and apply the law. It must no longer drive milk prices down! ” And to add: ” The market allows a significant increase in the price of milk paid to producers and the future of production is at this price. »
A situation greatly aggravated by the drought
“The price of milk is no longer remunerative enough and producers are also suffering from a major drought which will force them to buy fodder in a context of tight cash flow,” laments Laurine Rousset.
“The drought is further complicating an already difficult situation. For the fodder to be found, we are currently working to list the needs, evaluate them, and we are looking for where to find quality fodder to send to the barns of Haute-Loire. But here again, the operation will have a cost…”.
The drought is often considered catastrophic, especially on the prairies. On cereals, the situation is more disparate, with, as Laurine Rousset points out, who observes “disaster areas such as the Loire and Allier valleys, and other more beneficial ones such as the high altitude areas where crops have benefited at the right time from the thunderstorms in June”.
On the sidelines of the Richesmonts cheese company pointed out by disgruntled milk producers, another union action carried out on July 29 in the Puy-en-Velay basin highlighted the too low price of milk offered on the shelves by large and medium-sized stores to the consumer. “A liter of milk must be sold for at least one euro if we want the return to the producer to be sufficient, analyzes Laurine Rousset. Our checks have shown that this is not always the case and the objective is to achieve this by September. »