In a letter sent on 1st June to Phil Hogan, the European commissioner for agriculture, three livestock farmers’ organisations in West Africa (APESS (in french), RBM (in french) and ROPPA (in french)) and the Mauritanian dairy Tiviski strongly contested statements made last April by the European commissioner. The latter had described feedback from these organisations as “fake news” (infox) and “misinformation”, and used the same terms to describe research conducted as part of the “My milk is local” (in french) campaign on competition from powdered milk and powdered mixtures of skimmed milk and fat content (mainly palm oil), or Fat Filled Milk Powder, vis a vis the local milk sector in West Africa. The research targeted by the Commissioner for agriculture is that conducted by Cirad on this milk substitute, incorrectly characterised as “filled milk” (in french) and research conducted by GRET on the phenomenon of competition from this powder, in particular for the West-African milk (in french) processing sector.
Recalling that “local milk is crucial in our agropastoral economies” and that it “must be at the heart of regional policies”, the signatories underline the fact that “competition from powdered milk and powdered mixtures of skimmed milk and fat content vis a vis the local milk sector is a reality and negatively affects development of the local sector”. They are calling for “greater protection of West African markets with regards cheap imports, together with policies favouring development of the local milk sector”, because it provides a “lever for food security and local economic development”. They added that “West African producers need to be able to live off their income. We cannot become consumers of cheap imported products”.
Read the letter sent to Phil Hogan (in french)
Read the study entitled “Politique commerciale, politiques fiscales et filière lait en Afrique de l’Ouest ?” (Trade policy, tax policies and the milk sector in West Africa?” (in french)
More information on the “My milk is local” campaign (in french)