Although dairy products are highly demanded on the market in Romania and in the European Union, Romanian milk factories are slowly disappearing from the market. As such, over the last four years, 70% of the milk factories in Romania have been closed. Most dairy cows in Romania (approximately 63%) are in subsistence households that produce for their own consumption and own one to three cows. In addition to the shortage of raw materials, another problem the factories are facing is represented by the changes to the legislation and to the product packaging and labelling methods, which entail many additional costs. Therefore, entrepreneurs from the milk industry are turning to other areas of investment, while farmers who have a small number of cows switch to agri-food markets in order to sell the milk they produce, as there they can obtain a better price for their products.
What are the measures that the Commission considers could be applied in order to encourage milk factories in Romania to expand and purchase milk from the small producers at acceptable prices for both parties?