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DAIRY POLICIES AND ECONOMICS

The section focused on global and regional challenges in the dairy sector of Central and Eastern European countries.

Welcome speech was made by Andriy Dykun, Ukrainian Agricultural Council. He outlined the main challenges of Ukrainian dairy sector, driven by the lowest milk price in the world, Russian food embargo and low purchasing power of Ukrainians. Mr. Dykun emphasized that efforts of Association of Milk Producers aim at boosting efficiency of dairy business by working on production cost through benchmarking, developing cooperatives and lobbying dairy industry.

Andriy Yarmak, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) made a report on milk supply and demand fluctuations in Ukraine.  As he said, there are 1 million tonnes of extra milk in Ukraine, which can be exported to the international market. However, the export is still constrained by poor international marketing experience, exclusive orientation to the CIS markets, low quality of milk supplies from households.

Nico van Belzen, International Dairy Federation (Belgium), gave a personal point of view on global and regional challenges for dairy in CEE countries. As he said, global milk production will increase by 23% till 2024, whereas 75% accounts for Asian region. China will boost self-sufficiency in milk production; meanwhile India strengthens position as dairy exporter. In this context, CEE countries will be enabled to increase cheese export to China and Indian as emerging markets.

Oleg Dubish, Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce shared the experience of Poland in upgrading dairy sector standards under EU integration. Before joining EU, Poland was a net importer of milk. Now, more than 30% of milk and dairy products are intended for export.

Olga Trofimtseva, AFC Consultants International, grounded the importance of launching East European Dairy Initiative. As she said, EEDI aims at supporting knowledge exchange and transfer of know-how to the dairy sector of Eastern European countries through transfer of technologies, business advice, benchmarking and consolidation.

DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATIVES IN UKRAINE

The international experts shared best practices and success stories in cooperative development.

Viktoria Zinchuk, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the UK) announced a launch of joint EBRD/Wageningen UR project on transfer best international practices, particularly in cooperative development to Ukraine. As she admitted, Ukrainian companies strive for improvements and consider cooperatives as a way to boost efficiency and remain competitive.

Rene Verberk, Rabobank (Holland) presented the Dutch experience in cooperative development. Holland as the second largest exporter globally, became successful because of cooperatives. Dutch cooperatives are value-added, designed to add value to agricultural commodities through additional processing. Farmer-investors own the facilities, commit product to the cooperative, and receive the profits generated by cooperative.

Romain Desthieux, Maisadour Semences (France) outlined the benefits of French farmers from cooperative. As the cooperative grows, benefits resulting from this growth are reinvested. Priority is given to tools that enable us to strengthen, promote and sustain production outlets and as a result each farmer-member's activity.

Maksym Maksymov, Dnipropetrovsk Agricultural Advisory Service (Ukraine) talked about constraints of cooperative development in Ukraine. The imperfect legal framework, unequal tax conditions and access to state support for various forms of cooperation (production and service) restrict the development of dairy cooperatives.

Kateryna Rigg, described EBRD’s policy in supporting and developing small and medium enterprises. In the context of EU integration of Ukraine and developing new export markets, EBRD provides consulting services on upgrading dairy sector to the international standards of food safety and quality, management of supply chain as well as selecting efficient logistic solutions.

DAIRY FARMING: CHALLENGES AND RISKS MANAGEMENT

The section was devoted to benchmarking as one of key drivers of efficient dairy business, based on study case of Ukraine, Estonia, Serbia and Georgia.

Denys Sergienko, Advisory Center of Association of Milk Producers (Ukraine) presented comparative financial analysis of dairy farms in the selected countries. The findings demonstrate that the highest cow productivity is observed in Estonia, where the average daily milk yield reaches 33.1 liters per cow. It is followed by Serbia — 23.1 liters, Ukraine — 22.9 liters and Georgia — 11.1 liters. Meanwhile, Ukraine has the lowest production cost, amounting at 0.18 euro per kg of milk.

Ljubisa Jovanovic, Serbian Dairy Association (Serbia) gave a brief overview of Serbian dairy sector. The average milk price is 0.27 euro per liter, whereas cost production reaches 0.30 euro. The share of feeds in the total structure accounts for 54%. Mr. Jovanovic added that government provides milk subsidy 0.06 euro per liter of milk and subsidy for breeding and fattening cattle 165 euro per head.

Kalle Kask, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia) said that the share of milk in the total agriculture production in Estonia accounts for 31%. In 2015, the average milk production reached 8.8 thousand kg per cow. Estonia takes the second places among European countries for increasing milk production per cow.

Hagen Hartmann, Group of Milk Producers “Milchquelle” (Germany) talked about the relationship between milk producers and processors. He shared that they supply milk to the one milk processing factory on the base of framework contract. The purchasing price is based on the utilization of dairy products. The utilization accounts for 80% of milk price. The rest 20% is determined by dairy factory.

Anna Reps-Bednarczyk, Danone (Poland) described transformation of Polish milk market under EU integration. As she admitted, Polish farmers were granted by single are payment that provides direct subsidy payments to landowners. That resulted in decreasing the number of farmers with low incomes from 35% in 2005 to 12% in 2015.

REGIONAL EXPORT HUB FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS

The participants talked about regional competition on the world dairy market, established players and newcomers.

Jiří Kopaček, Czech and Moravian Dairy Association (Czech Republic) forecasted developing competition on the world dairy market. In the context of global dairy downturn, East European countries have a possibility to take a niche on the markets of developing countries by exporting added value products and convenience food.

In conclusion, Zenon Puciaty, Dairy Cooperative Mlekovita (Poland) presented Polish dairy cooperative which produces milk powder, whey, cheese and whole-milk products. The share of exports in the total structure accounts for 25%. The export strategy of the cooperative is regular consumer analysis and export expansion to the markets of China, Arabian and Asian countries.

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