Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

A Study of Milk Support Policies in the European Union and in Turkey

Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

A Study of Milk Support Policies in the European Union and in Turkey

Article excerpt


Milk is one of the most important food stuffs in human's nourishment. Income growth and population growth affect dairy consumption positively. As the population grows, per capita consumption of milk increases. Generally consumption of milk and meat preparations indicates the wealth of a country. Dairy milk per capita consumption increases in the countries where per capita income is high.

Milk is a crucial agricultural product for the European Union (EU) too. Ensuring the stability of agricultural production has the greatest importance since the foundation of European Community. Regarding the food-shortages and damage in agriculture in the Europe after the World War II, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) established as the first common policy of the Community. Self-sufficiency in agricultural products was one of the major objectives of the CAP. The Community supported the farmers and agricultural products, by setting high prices and high support levels. In time, as agricultural production started to increase, other problems occurred. The high support levels in agriculture were hurting the Community budget, comprising of almost 90% of the total budget. Food shortages turned into food surpluses in most of the agricultural products. Support policies in the dairy sector also encouraged production leading to oversupply as expressed butter mountains and milk lakes.

In 1984, milk quotas were introduced to prevent oversupply. Milk quotas were effective to balance the demand and supply in the dairy sector. In 2015, European Commission decided to phase out the milk quotas. The dairy sector has been reforming since the 1980s. But besides the quota phase-out, the Russian import ban in dairy sectors was another problem of the European Union, since European Union exports most of its production. European Union introduced new measures to limit the negative effects of the quota elimination and Russian import restrictions.

Turkey, as a candidate country, is pursuing a different agricultural policy in the milk sector. On the other hand, Turkey is trying to take measures to harmonize its policy to EU's agricultural policy.

In this article, it is aimed to analyse the production, consumption and the price levels of the milk in the European Union. The milk support policies in the European Union are summarized.

Production, consumption and price of the milk in Turkey are also analysed by the comparison with the European Union. Turkish support policy in milk is examined, and differences and similarities of agricultural support policies in milk in the European Union and Turkey are summarised. Also Turkey's harmonisation to the European Union's milk policy is examined in this article.

2.Milk in the European Union

Milk is an important agricultural product in the European Union. The EU is the second biggest exporter of the milk products after New Zealand. New Zealand and the EU are the two main exporters and accounting for 50% of world trade (European Parliament, 2015, p. 9).

Milk contributes to 14.1 % of the agricultural output in the European Union, taking the second place in agricultural output value, while fruits and vegetables constitute 24% of total agricultural value (European Commission, 2017a). Some of the collected milk is consumed domestically, while most of the production is exported. Domestically, the milk is consumed as drinking milk, and also used as cheese, butter and milk powder.

2.1.Milk production and consumption in the European Union

The European Union produced over 151 million tonnes milk in 2015 (Table 1). Milk production takes place in all EU Member States. The biggest producers are Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland and Italy contributing about 90% of the cows' milk collected in the EU. Germany is the biggest producer accounting for almost 20% of the total production.

The production level in the whole EU has an increasing trend. In 2009, a decline was seen in the collection of milk in 2009 after drought but than a recovery is recorded in 2010. …

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