Danish dairy farmers facing tough times – The Post

Danish dairy farmers facing tough times

About 10 percent of the nation’s dairy farmers are staring into the abyss

Putting up a brave face: Danish dairy farmers don’t have much to smile about these days (photo: iStock)
February 18th, 2016 7:43 am| by Christian W

Last year 60 Danish dairy farms went out of business, according to national statistics keeper Danmarks Statistik. That’s twice as many as the year before.

According to the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture and the Danish Pig Research Centre (SEGES), a further 340 Danish dairy farmers – about 10 percent of the nation’s dairy farmers – are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

“The Danish dairy producers are in a very, very difficult situation,” Klaus Kaiser, the head of business economics at SEGES, told DR Nyheder.

“Many of them have huge debts at the moment and depend heavily on how much credit their banks are willing to give them.”

READ MORE: Denmark’s largest dairy farmer in conflict with trade union

Milk price woes
In particular, it’s the record-low milk prices that are hurting the farmers. Dairy giant Arla, for instance, paid its dairy farmers over a kroner more per kilo two years ago than the 2.11 kroner it currently pays.

According to SEGES, the low price of milk is largely down to three central factors: Russia’s sanctions against food products from the EU, China’s partial withdrawal from the global market and the end of milk quotas.