You’re putting us in debt! – shouted nervous milk producers to the management board of Spółdzielnia Mleczarska in Gostyń (Greater Poland Voivodeship). They emphasize that a year ago they got PLN 1 more per liter than they do now. – Production is no longer profitable – they admit in front of the TVN24 camera. The cooperative reports that the lower purchase prices were forced by the difficult situation on the market.
The price offered to producers by the cooperative is – as farmers say – unacceptable.
– The break-even point for a producer who does not have to repay large loans is two zlotys per liter. And yet, in order to build a cowshed, you need to take a loan, because there is no other way. Keeping the herd costs money every year, and now I have PLN 13, 15 thousand less every month. This is already a big problem – says Piotr Zimiński, a milk producer.
Other farmers are in a similar, very difficult situation. They note that the cost of production – in connection with rising electricity prices – has grown strongly. Therefore, they do not hide their indignation at the actions of the dairy cooperative.
During the meeting with the management board organized on this matter, very harsh words were spoken, including those related to “carrying out the president in wheelbarrows”. The gathered producers emphasized that “the cooperative wants to put them in debt”.
Cooperative: There is no other way
The Gostyń cooperative – as Michał Klincewicz, vice-president of the board – said, had to radically reduce the purchase prices, because “it is struggling with very big difficulties”.
– We are dealing with a crisis on the dairy market in Poland. We see the specter of the company’s unbalance. Our primary task is to balance the company. We cannot allow it to enter the path of indebtedness, collapse – says Klincewicz.
It specifies that the purchase rate of milk results from the cashing of products minus production costs.
Farmers, however, believe that the difficult situation of the cooperative may result from poor management and failed investments. They indicate that perhaps it would be possible to look for savings somewhere, without putting the problems on the shoulders of producers.
A year ago, due to the panic caused by the explosion war in Ukrainemilk prices soared. – Producers were selling them at a price of PLN 2.50 to even three zlotys per liter – reports Aleksander Przybylski, a TVN24 reporter looking at the farmers’ protests after the prices fell to PLN 1.50 per liter. Farmers, as Przybylski reports, took into account the fact that it was a certain “hill” and prices would fall in the future. But they did not expect the reduction to be so radical.
After the May weekend, further meetings of delegations selected from among farmers with the supervisory board are to take place. The goal is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Spółdzielnia Mleczarska in Gostyń offers a radically lower purchase price of milk
Main photo source: TVN24