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Ceturtdiena 23.03.2017 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna
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Solks: Latvia produces record-large volumes of milk

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter the cancellation of quotas on milk production, the volume of milk produced in Latvia has grown by 7%. This growth is expected to continue and reduce procurement prices even more, notes Central Union of Milk Producers in Latvia Janis Solks.

Solks underlines that milk processing industry can handle the increased volumes of milk. It has also been possible to create a Centre of Competence for Food Products. It will help create innovative products and adapt them for new export markets.

According to him, the situation in the dairy industry remains complicated, as the volume of produced milk keeps increasing and procurement prices keep decreasing.

«According to the latest data, the increase was 7% in March. It is near 62,579 tons of milk – we’ve never had that much before. The April’s outlook also shows that there will be a record large procurement – 65,900 t. Our processing capabilities have been sufficient so far. According to the latest information, one-third of milk produced in Latvia is consumed in the country, one-third is exported and the remaining volume is exported in the form of ready-made products,» – says Solks.

At the same time, procurement prices continue to decline. In March, the average price was EUR 207 per 1 ton, which is 3.4% or EUR 0.07 lower in comparison with February.

‘The price could be lower than EUR 0.20 per 1 litre. We have serious concerns for farmers – many of them might not survive such a decline. As for the price, we have to accept that the price of milk supplied to a processing company in a volume of at least 22 t will always be higher than the price paid to  a specific milk producer,’ – notes Solks.

He also admits that the criticisms are not baseless – Latvia’s milk processing industry is too fractured, overburdened and incapable of quickly reacting to developments with the creation of new and interesting products to present on export markets.

«Unfortunately, Latvia is far behind countries like Estonia, where there are two competence centres and investments are regularly carried out towards the development of the dairy market and the creation of new products. We never felt the need to create such centres. We used to have a market in Russia – good prices made it unnecessary to think about innovations. The situation with research, however, continues to improve. In cooperation with the Federation of Food Enterprises, we have begun forming a Centre of Competence for Food Products. It is set to start functioning this summer,» – he said.

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