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Ministry steps in on dairy dispute

Update: January, 16/2015 - 09:19
Farmers were disappointed since some of their cows produced up to 20kg of milk and they did not know what to do with the surplus. Some were so upset they decided to spill the milk in front of the dairy company as an act of protest against the quota.

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) yesterday ordered local departments to ensure that dairy companies honoured contracts with farmers.

"Dairy companies should sit down and talk with farmers to reach mutual understanding about problems experienced by both sides. In the meantime, they must honour the contracts they have signed," said Hoang Thanh Van, head of MARD's Department of Livestock Production.

Dairy farmers in Ha Noi, Lam Dong, Long An and Soc Trang recently reported that local dairy companies did not fulfill their contracts to buy milk from them, even if the milk was of acceptable quality.

Earlier this month, Kinh Te Nong Thon (Rural Economy) reported that Dalat Milk JSC, a dairy company based in the central highlands province of Lam Dong, had put a quota (16kg per cow) on the amount of milk it would buy – although the company had already agreed to purchase everything farmers produced.

Farmers were disappointed since some of their cows produced up to 20kg of milk and they did not know what to do with the surplus. Some were so upset they decided to spill the milk in front of the dairy company as an act of protest against the quota.

The dairy company's representative said the quota was necessary to prevent farmers from buying milk from elsewhere at a cheaper price, then selling it to them for a profit. The company was also having trouble dealing with its own surplus.

The quota was removed on Tuesday after a meeting between the agriculture ministry's representative and Dalat Milk JSC.

Local departments were told to improve the supply chain for dairy products, starting with building support policies and mechanisms to help dairy companies purchase milk produced by farmers, Van said. — VNS

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