University of Life Sciences analysis: Competitiveness of Estonian milk producers dropped

Farmers brought 10,000 bottles of milk to Toompea earlier this year to protest against the lack of state support for their businesses. (ERR)
10/19/2016 11:54 AM
Category: Business

While Latvia and Lithuania continued supporting their milk producers with top-op subsidies, Estonia hasn’t done this over the past years, which has affected the competitiveness of Estonian producers significantly, an analysis of the Estonian University of Life Sciences showed.

So-called top-up subsidies are funds added to the European Union’s direct contributions by a member state. Professor Rando Värnik of the Estonian University of Life Sciences pointed out that Estonian milk producers hadn’t received such support, and made investments based on credit.

Värnik said in ETV’s “Aktuaalne Kaamera” newscast on Tuesday that Estonia should consider paying these subsidies to its own producers. State support for producers abroad had influenced Estonian producers negatively.

Chairman of the Riigikogu’s Rural Affairs Committee, Ivari Padar (SDE), stressed that the Estonian state had supported producers with other means in the current crisis.

“Estonia took a different approach and didn’t pay out subsidies in the form of top-ups, but as further crisis support,” Padar pointed out, adding that this support amounted to an additional €3m this year, and €4.6m in 2017.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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