(Photo: milk cows in the Liniers Livestock Market, sold to slaughter packs)
October 11th- Buenos Aires. Two places were today the spot where dairy farmers protest in Argentina, one in Trenque Lauquen and the other in General Rodriguez, both are in Buenos Aires province.
The protest also include selling 290 cows in Liniers Markets, (Local meat auction market), and the main slogans were related to “Menos Leche” (Less Milk) an irony of the government policy “Plan Más Leche” (Plus Milk Policy), this policy tries to make dairy production more economically sustainable, and another slogan in the protest was “S.O.S Tambos”, and this is because the new increasing in bankrupt in dairy farms every month.
The conflict increased in the last days because the Dairy deputy secretary, Alejandro Sanmartino has an impolite position about the crisis in the dairy sector. The main dairy union delegates considered that was a sign that government will not do anything to solve the problem.
Near the beginning of the protest, an offer come by the government to create a milk futures market to make possible to have a price to get easier to dairy producers to sell in fair conditions to the industry. Farmers said that the income is the order stages of the chain, industry and supermarkets are covering from the last inflation hike and not paying a fair price to dairy farmers, “Tambos” have to absorb all the cost. The cost of diesel and grains, especially corn are in dollars, and milk sold in Argentina is in pesos.
“Sociedad Rural de Trenque Lauquen”- “Rural Society of Trenque Lauquen”, (Local farmers chamber) were the main organizers of this protest. Their main leader Ignacio Kovarsky said that cost is the large problem in the producer’s day by day activity and the chance to diversify is low. In this point of view dairy demands a high investment and also many dairy farmers rent land and are not owner, so this cost also affects them.
Another important leader in farmers organization in Argentina, Dardo Chiesa, president of CRA (Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas), an organization of a union of farmers, said in thought language: Sanmartino now can see the dairy cows that will be slaughtered, he supposed that was not many.
By the end of the day and the compromise of fairer conditions for dairy farmers, Jorge Chemes who take part in the protest today, announce in many media that CRA, will join again the “Mesa de Competitividad Lechera”, a Dairy Competitiveness Forum to get as quick as possible a solution for this crisis.
The assembly organized in the protest have a programmatic plan which consists in: a fair price for the milk, a cut in taxes related to dairy producers, and more soft lends related to production, and also claim that the objective was to get support for many other groups and farmers for other activities. But at the end, they insist that will be keep alert because the crisis is a serious one.