Wednesday, 10 August 2022 11:55

Dutch farmers face 'a major uncertainty'

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
FrieslandCampina chief executive Hein Schumacher. FrieslandCampina chief executive Hein Schumacher.

European dairy co-operative FrieslandCampina has put on hold a cash payment to farmer members due to uncertainty over the Dutch Government's nitrogen proposals.

Chief exectuive Hein Shumacher says the Dutch Government's target for reducing nitrogen pollution in some areas by up to 70% by 2030 is "a major uncertainty".

"For this reason, we are exercising extra caution in terms of our outlook for the rest of the year, and we have decided to forego the interim pro forma supplementary cash payment to our member dairy farmers."

Dutch farmers have been taking to the streets in the Netherlands to protest, calling the targets unrealistic.

They claim livestock nationwide would have to be reduced by 30% to reduce nitrogen pollution.

FrieslandCampina is owned by almost 16,000 farmers based in Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Last month, the co-operative announced its half-year results for 2022.

Revenue rose to $10.7 billion, compared to $9b the previous year. Operating profit jumped from $210m to over $500m.

The co-op attributed this increase primarily due to price increases, higher commodity dairy prices and the recovery of European out-of-home markets.

Volume in the retail channel was under pressure. Volumes of the Professional business and the Ingredients business group increased.

But it warned that market developments in the second half of 2022 will be uncertain due to the war in Ukraine, the corona pandemic, rising costs and possible impact of the Dutch Cabinet's nitrogen proposals on members and the company.

Schumacher says the end of all uncertainties is not yet in sight.

Dutch Farmer Protests FBTW

Dutch farmers protesting against the Government's nitrogen proposals.

"We are still faced with inflation-related challenges and the associated price increases, mounting raw material shortages, declining consumer confience and the corona pandemic, which has yet to completely pass.

"We are also still confronted with major uncertainty concerning the impact of the Dutch Cabinet's announced nitrogen proposals on our members and our company."

He thanked farmers and employees for all their hard work over the past months.

"The resilience they display in this respect every day gives me every confidence that FrieslandCampina will also be able to successfully cope with present and future challenges."

The milk supplied by member dairy farmers in the first half of 2022 decreased by 4.6 percent to 4.8 billion kilos in comparison to the first half of 2021 (5.0 billion kilos) due to a decline in the number of members, lower quality of grass silage and higher feed costs.

Milk price over the first half of 2022 increased by 37.8% to 51.33 Euros for every 100kg of milk.

This increase was in part due to an increase in commodity dairy prices resulting from increased market demand. The organic milk price was 57.31 Euros per 100kg of milk.

More like this

Farmer politics

OPINION: Dutch farmers are taking their fight against the Government’s campaign against dairying into parliament.


Learnings from tractor incident

A near miss experienced by a North Island farmer worker when their tractor ‘park’ gear failed, has been shared as the latest Safety Alert from Safer Farms.

Frontline biosecurity 'untouchable'

Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard has reiterated that 'frontline' biosecurity services within Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will not be cut under the Government's plan to reduce the public service.

Migrant farmer 'lets the side down'

An appalling case of migrant worker exploitation on a Southland farm isn't acceptable, says Federated Farmers dairy chair Richard McIntyre.

Milk price certainty

Westland Milk has reaffirmed its commitment to pay farmer suppliers 10c above Fonterra farm gate milk price for the following two seasons.


Share farmers with big plans

With only about eight weeks to go before their cows are dried off, the 2024 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards Share…

Team effort brings results

For the team at Westmorland Estate Limited in Waikato, it has been another year of everyone working together to achieve…

Machinery & Products

New name, new ideas

KGM New Zealand, is part of the London headquartered Inchcape Group, who increased its NZ presence in August 2023 with…

All-terrain fert spreading mode

Effluent specialists the Samson Group have developed a new double unloading system to help optimise uphill and downhill organic fertiliser…

Can-Am showcases range

Based on industry data collected by the Motor Industry Association, Can-Am is the number one side-by-side manufacturer in New Zealand.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Exploited by one of their own

OPINION: Milking It believes a recent Employment Relations Authority ruling on the exploitation of three migrant workers from Indonesia highlights…

'Not our fault!'

OPINION: Milking It wasn’t too surprised to hear Kiwis’ trust in media has sunk to a new low.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter