dairy quotas

Dairy Quotas



switch handle (2) volume (2)
regret yield (2) sustainable
demand  creative distribute
nuts (2) necessity vocational school
barely discount organic farming
slash founder supplement
quota survive pessimistic
require decision preschool





Heinfried Emden milks his 80 cows twice a day. And ever since he switched to organic farming a few months ago, the volume of milk produced are lower.

He gives his cows organic feed, which produces a lower yield.

But he doesn’t regret his decision.

Heinfried Emden, Dairy Farmer: “It’s been a long process. Back in vocational school, I had a few classmates who were interested in organic farming. But I thought they were nuts.

Over the years, talking to different people, I see that there is a demand for sustainable food.”

Emden now distributes about a third of the food he produces. He sells directly to supermarkets, preschools and institutions right in his own back yard.

His wife, Susanne, works with him.

The idea grew out of necessity: their farm had barely been able to cover costs because Germany’s powerful discount supermarkets have been driving the milk price ever lower.

Susanne Emden, Dairy Farmer: “The big question is where the milk market is headed. We’ve already seen prices as low as 19 cents a liter.

So maybe the answer is to do more of our own marketing to supplement earnings.”

The milk the Emdens cannot sell themselves is now handled by a new dairy.

Uplander Dairy is a joint venture between a group of local farmers. It’s able to offer farmers much better prices than the industrial dairies.

But nobody knows for how long.

Uplender founder Joseph Jacobi fears the new open market.

Joseph Jacobi, Uplander Dairy: “There is too much milk now. The quotas are ending and farmers are producing too much. Discounters like Aldi are slashing prices as a result.”

Heinfried Emden is even more pessimistic. He says his business barely survives at 44 cents a liter.

Huge industrial milk farms with hundreds of cows are now competing with normal farmers, now that milk quotas are history.

Heinfried Emden, Dairy Farmer: “There’s already more milk in Europe than we had in recent years. In view of the current market situation, it’s possible that the price will continue to fall.”

The Emdens hope that their children will take over the business one day. But maintaining the dairy that long will require some creative decisions.

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1. Heinfried Emden’s milk yield has been increasing. Is this correct or wrong? Why has it decreased? Why did he switch to organic dairy production?

2. Does he sell his milk to an industrial dairy company?

3. What is Uplander Dairy? Is it an industrial dairy company?

4. Is the milk industry very competitive? Is there market saturation? Why is there a glut?

5. Can the small, family dairy farms compete against the large dairy companies? Is it easy for them to compete? Which milk is cheaper? Which is “healthier”?
A. Were dairy quotas a good or bad thing, both or neither?

B. What should family farmers like Heinfried Emden do to prosper?

C. Is milk cheap, medium-priced or expensive in your city?

D. Are milk and dairy products popular?

E. What will happen in the future?

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