bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 15.12.2017 | Name days: Jana, Johanna, Hanna
LatviaLatvia

Latvijas piens: dairy industry is a mirror of our nation’s weakness

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Latvia has the most fractured dairy industry in Europe, which only serves to weaken its competitiveness. Companies are already allocating whatever resources they have to conquer export markets, said Latvijas piens Chairperson Anita Skudra in an interview to BNN.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWhat are some of the most notable recent events in your sector?

The moment that changed the situation in the dairy industry came when Russian announced its embargo on imports of European dairy products. This decision is the core of the crisis situation. Its result can be described with over-production of dairy products on global markets. The cancellation of milk quotas that followed in Europe from 1 April and onward only increased tension, causing a significant drop in prices around Europe and the world. Dairy industry’s experts say this situation is unprecedented – prices have gone to an all-time low in the past ten years. In this difficult time the primary question to ask is this – do we, dairy companies in Latvia, have a strong foothold in Baltic States, Europe and elsewhere in the world? The answer, unfortunately, is not optimistic at all: we have the most fractured dairy industry in Europe, which significantly weakens our competitiveness. It is impossible to consolidate resources to achieve a common goal, like exploring a new export market. Currently all companies are spending whatever resources they have to conquer export markets.

Can you say economic conditions are improving and there is a lot of potential for economic growth in the market?

No, the situation in the industry remains critical.

How would you describe the government’s economy policy aimed at improving the economic situation in the country?

We cannot deny the efforts the government puts into improving the situation in the industry. However, we have to admit that this ‘fire-fighting method’ will only ensure the overall survival of the industry. Yes, support has been provided to farmers. We have also seen measures aimed to help with exports – participation in international exhibitions. Experts say the situation is incredibly complicated. It is not something that can be resolved in a short period of time. It is closely tied to developments in Europe’s dairy industry. Latvia’s situation is made worse with one thing – there has not been any kind of future development strategy aimed at exploring international markets as of yet.

How is the industry affected by Latvia’s policy? What changes to legislation would you like to see? What helps? What makes things more complicated?

Politics influence businesses. This can be explained with the geopolitical situation in neighbouring countries, legislation and tax policies employed in Latvia and Europe. Unfortunately, we have short-term planning methods when it comes to matters like those – it is important for us to complete specific budget goals, not think about the future. The state changes its tax policy views every year. This makes it difficult for companies to plan their development and investments.

How would you describe the industry’s position in the Baltics? What about competition with Estonia and Lithuania?

As I’ve already mentioned, Latvia has the most fractured dairy industry. We are considerably behind Estonia and Lithuania. I would even say the dairy industry is a mirror of our nation’s weakness – we can clearly observe that every person wants to rule their own garden; we cannot cooperate with one another, talk to one another and plan ahead.

I would also like to emphasize that the Baltic market is considered as a whole – Lithuania has powerful milk processing companies that have been cooperating with Latvia for a long time. Development strategy employed by Lithuania’s dairy industry has yielded results because Lithuania has always wanted to be the leader in this industry in Baltic States. Around 50% of milk produced in Latvia is exported to Lithuania every day. With that, competition on the market is impressive.

Estonia is several steps ahead of us, I believe. Being close to Finland, where there are many powerful cooperatives and Valio (one of the most powerful milk processing company in the world), which is owned by dairy cooperatives, has definitely benefited Estonia. So it seems strategic thinking and practical work can give results for Latvia’s dairy industry as well.

What can you can your ‘trump card’? What is your ‘Achilles’ heel’?

Our industry’s trump card is definitely high quality milk provided by local milk producers. Our Achilles’ heel is the fractured state of milk producers. There are 39 milk processing companies in the country. They are small and relatively weak when it comes to competition on global markets.

Can you say there is a lack of skilled workers in Latvia?

Considering our country’s location – Jelgava – we don’t feel any lack of qualified workers. We have established great cooperation with Latvian Agriculture University. We’ve had 14 students from the university undergo training at our company this year. We would be happy if we could establish the same kind of cooperation in the field of engineering. It should be noted, however, that we have young and competitive specialists who graduated from Riga Technical University as well. We are interested in teaching young specialists all the details of production in order to achieve better results in cheese production and put Latvijas Piens on the global map of cheese producers.

What do you predict for the next five years? Will the situation in the industry improve, worsen or remain the same?

It has become clear that without enormous dedication and hope, it would be impossible to survive in this industry. With that, I’m certain that five years from now our industry will be in a much better situation. Everyone understands that we need to change in order to be certain about the future and secure better competitiveness. Dairy producers have to cooperate more than do now. We need to cooperate with one another based on common plans for the future.

Ref: 102.109.109.6792


Leave a reply

Opinion: Latvia at risk of restricting healthcare to 300,000 people

Kustība Par! political party has sent a letter to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, asking him to return to the Saeima the recently approved law on healthcare funding legislative draft. According to the party, the law restricts healthcare for 300,000 people in Latvia.

Lithuania’s 2018 budget focuses on spending cuts, NATO commitment and social security

Lithuania's 2018 budget, approved this week by the Seimas, Lithuanian Parliament, makes history for being the first budget ever with fewer spending for the governmental sector, the commitment to NATO of earmarking 2 per cent of the gross domestic product to defence and bigger allotments for social security. The budget was adopted by 84 MPs, 29 voted against, with 15 abstentions.

EU member states have to strengthen measures against sexual abuse of children

Member states of the European Union have to take more serious measures and cooperate more intensely with Europol and information technology industry to better combat sexual abuse of children, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Latvian parliament views initiative for changing VAT rate for food product

On Thursday, 14 December, Latvia’s Saeima made its decision on the collective application that proposes reducing VAT on everyday healthy food products and increasing VAT on unhealthy products.

Maxima: residents have become more conservative in their choice of products

In Q2 and Q3, a higher degree of conservatism was noticed in residents’ choice of products. The number of buyers who gladly purchase new products has declined, whereas the number of buyers who do not change anything in their purchasing habits has increased, according to results of a study performed by Maxima.

Civil processes to be sped up and simplified in Latvia

On Thursday, 14 December, Saeima supported amendments to the Civil Process Law in the final reading. Amendments propose several major changes to the process of review of civil processes to make court sessions quicker and more efficient.

State Auditor dissatisfied with parliament’s slow legislative process

Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa plans to inquire to the Saeima about the delay with the approval of the legislative draft on the expansion of authority of her institution, as she mentioned in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Aldaris commences exports to France, China and Netherlands

Aldaris concludes 2017 with three new export contracts, commencing exports of products to China, France and Netherlands. Until now Aldaris has exported products to eight markets, with the largest one being United Kingdom, taking up 78.71% from Aldaris export volume, as reported by the company.

Estonian budget passed with 0.25 billion-euro deficit

The Estonian Riigikogu with 55 votes against 41 has passed the country’s 2018 state budget bill planning to spend by 0.25 billion more than it is planned to earn.

AFSAL: loan requests in non-banking industry are declined in 69% of all cases

In the first six months of 2017 Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia (AFSAL) issued a total amount of EUR 84.7 million in consumer loans. No increase is noted in this amount when compared with the same period of 2016. Increase did not exceed 0.2%, as reported by the association.

European Parliament supports changes for combating activities detailed in Panama Papers

Public registries with names of true owners of businesses, effective protection of whistle-blowers and stricter requirements for financial intermediaries are some of the proposals intended to assist with the fight against tax avoidance, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Former deputy chief of anti-corruption bureau: Christmas lights are more important to Riga mayor than residents’ welfare

«Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs focuses a lot on ‘shiny things’ and procurements performed by capital associations in which flow of money is hard to control. For example, Ušakovs has decided to allocate from the budget EUR 200,000 for Rīgas Gaisma to procure Christmas decorations. Meanwhile in Riga there are nearly 50 km of streets with no lighting. This demonstrates that the mayor focuses on ‘shiny things’ instead of improving life for Riga’s residents,» former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) Juta Strīķe told BNN in an interview.

Turkey and 56 other countries recognise East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine

In a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, held in reaction to Washington’s decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as only the capital of Israel, Turkey and 56 other Muslim countries have called on the rest of the world to recognise «the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital».

Ventspils City Council opposition member sees possibility of establishing closer ties with Unity

«If Unity is interested, and wants to come back to the values it once had, we may consider working more closely. My knowledge and experience from the past 5-6 years may be useful in restarting political cooperation and restoration of lost influence,» said Ventpils City Council opposition member Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

FM mentions progress in combating grey economy; prime minister expects more

Latvia will continue combating grey economy in construction field and fight envelope wages, said Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola during the ministry’s Taxpayer Forum 2017 organized by the ministry on Wednesday, 13 December.

EP agrees to EU moving on to phase II of Brexit talks

Members of the European Parliament have overwhelmingly supported what has been negotiated upon in the joint EU-UK progress report in Brexit talks and have recommended Brussels to move on to phase two negotiations on the future relations of the parties.

Businessmen share stories: ‘surviving’ and taking risks in Latvia when starting a business

The silent period – the time for Christmas wishes – has begun. Snow covers Tukums, and the city slowly becomes white. Everything is quiet at Pils ielā. The phone rings, interrupting a quiet moment of watching snowflakes fall under the light of a lantern. «You’re here for us, aren’t you?» BNN goes to interview manager of Merci Cafe Anija Rabkeviča (23) and cafe’s founder Rinalds Pluģis (22). They tell about their experience of ‘surviving’ in Latvia.

BATL: Transport Ministry plans to increase burden on taxpayers’ shoulders

Latvian Transport Ministry’s developed development plan for the transit industry, which was presented to Saeima’s National Economy Committee this week, states that raising competitiveness in the country requires subsidizing railway cargo transports.

Croat soldier dies in Lithuania barracks

A soldier from the Croat contingent in Lithuania, who served in the Rukla military town as part of NATO international forces, has passed away.

LMP President: proposal for LMT and Lattelecom merge was only politically discussed

Only political discussions were held proposal on the merge between Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Lattelecom, and it is good that this matter has been taken off the agenda, said LMT President Juris Binde in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LNT.

Survey: 55% of employed people are not paid for overtime

More than half of employed people work overtime. On top of that, 55% of them are not paid for working overtime and 45% are paid, according to results of a survey performed by CV Market.

Estonian military receives anti-tank missiles, bought with U.S. funding

The Estonian military has acquired another lot of missiles for the American-made man-portable Javelin antitank system bought with U.S. money allocated for supporting European defence measures.

Tallinners can claim millions for overpriced water, says competition watchdog

In the Estonian capital, the result of a legal dispute between water utility company Tallinna Vesi and the Estonian Competition Authority is that consumers are considered to be able to claim tens of millions of euros in compensation for overcharged water tariffs that have been in place for a number of years.

Latvian Association of Regions decides against working with For Latvia’s Development political party

It was decided at a meeting of representatives of Latvian Association of Regions (LAR) that the party will not work with For Latvia’s Development. The party has also decided to start in 13th Saeima elections with its own list of candidates.

Italy in state of emergency after fire at Austria gas hub

Italy has declared a state of emergency in its natural gas sector as a large explosion at a major natural gas hub in Austria killed one person, injured at least 18 and is prone to affect supplies in central Europe.

When do you go shoping for Christmas gifts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: