EUCOLAIT convenes in Helsinki for the first time

EUCOLAIT, the European Association of Dairy Trade, is holding its General Assembly in Helsinki for the first time, from 23–25 May 2013. One of the key topics for discussion at the General Meeting is the dismantling of the EU’s milk production quota system in 2015.

EUCOLAIT represents around 850 European dairy trade companies. The membership comprises both manufacturers and traders, some of which are direct members of the Association while others participate through different organisations.

Trade issues and the expiration of the quota system attract attention

The General Assembly discusses issues of interest to the industry and sales side, such as the general market conditions and overall outlook.

“The companies represented by EUCOLAIT are interested in trade issues, such as international trade policy, detailed requirements relating to import and export, and legislation concerning foods,” says Veli-Matti Riitamaa, a Vice President at Valio.

“Friday saw a conference and panel discussion on the dismantling of the EU’s milk production quota system in 2015. Important questions include whether price fluctuations will increase or the markets achieve balance once the quota system expires.”

Risto Artjoki, Secretary of State for the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, opened the proceedings at the Friday session. Valio CEO Pekka Laaksonen spoke about the effect on milk producers of the expiration of the milk production quota system.

Veli-Matti Riitamaa and Riitta Brandt from Valio continue on the Board

A new Board of Directors was elected for EUCOLAIT on Friday morning 24 May. Valio continues to be represented on the Board by Veli-Matti Riitamaa as an ordinary member and Riitta Brandt, Vice President, Agricultural and Food Policy, as a deputy member.

EUCOLAIT promotes the interests of the dairy trade in the European Institutions, and serves as a platform for discussion and meetings for European and international dairy trade companies. EUCOLAIT’s policy work is conducted by specific product committees that convene at least twice a year in Brussels in Belgium. The General Assembly is held in May or June each year at a different location within the European Union. Almost 200 people participate in the General Assembly.