Tapio Vesterinen

Tapio Vesterinen

Retail prices for milk and dairy products have fallen by well over 40% in Finland, in the wake of Russia’s decision to ban food imports from the EU, according to Finnish farming journalist Tapio Vesterinen.

Tapio, who attended this week’s Lely continuous baling launch event in the Netherlands, told Agriland that the ongoing trade dispute between Russia and the EU has had a devastating impact on Finnish agriculture.

“Our market is flooded with dairy products at the present time,” he said.

“Farm gate milk prices have already fallen by 6c/L in response to these developments. If this trend is sustained for the next 12 months, dairy farmers in Finland will incur losses of around €50 million. This is not a sustainable situation.

“Dairy and livestock production account for well over 70% of total agricultural output in Finland. “Something must be done to take all of these surplus dairy products of the market in Finland. And from what I am hearing, ‘export refunds’ is the only support model that will meet this need.”

This is a view shared by United Dairy Farmers’ Group Chief Executive Dr Dobbin. He told Agriland that the introduction of Private Storage Aids by Brussels for a selection of dairy products is a step in the right direction.

“It should help prevent further produce coming onto the European market, which is currently over supplied.

“Private Storage Aids for butter were previously available to processors at this time of the year and their return will relieve the huge financial pressure on local processors who are generally carrying large stocks at present. I expect that most processers in Ireland will make use of this facility. That said, it remains to be seen if this measure on its own is enough to stabilise markets, we may need to see the reintroduction of export refunds to help boost export sales.”