The German dairy cooperatives and their members are working together towards the changes in 2015 when the milk quota will be abolished in Europe. They are also thinking about what form their cooperation will take beyond 2015. The cooperative model is ideally suited to the new situation. The cooperative rules offer enough scope for adjustments without affecting the parties’ mutual interests and interdependence, says Manfred Nüssel, President of the German Raiffeisenverband.
The Deutsche Raiffaisenverband (over-arching organisation of cooperatives in Germany) asserts that the delivery obligation and purchase guarantee, the twin pillars of the cooperatives, can function equally well in a market without milk quota. The relationship between dairy farmer and cooperative will in principle remain unchanged, though there is a clear responsibility for the individual company. “The cooperative model ensures to a very strong degree that dairy farmers and dairy companies can trust each other.”
Some cooperatives within the Association are in favour of regulating the quantities of deliverable milk when the European Commission’s quota instrument ceases to exist. The cooperatives’ obligation to purchase and the dairy farmers’ obligation to deliver need not be affected by the regulation. The cooperatives merely want to secure planning certainty through regulation. Nüssel emphasises in this respect that all cooperatives have their own responsibility.