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Roxell

It is well known that the fairs are the most efficient meeting point for dairy farmers and milk producers. In one of these crowdy shows, it happened to “steal” a discussion between two farmers. I deducated either from their behavior, or from their discussion that they have small family farms. As a matter of fact it was more a complaint than a discussion.

 

 

Looking at the big stands highly illuminated of the big integrated farmers and the huge global companies, one of the two farmers said: “How can we work and survive in this market? Those who buy the milk produced by my 20 cows, will never pay my family enough to live with, and they pay always late! And those who sell me the grain won’t deliver it to feed my cows until I pay in advance!”

 “And if only one cows gets ill”, continue the other farmer. “I go bankrupt”.

“You know… it’s the large-scale distribution that is killing us, the hypermarkets and the superstores! By setting a low price when they buy and a high price when they sell!”

“Not only that…add to it the banks, insurances, competition from abroad, globalization…I’m fed up! I really have enough!”.

“We’ll end up by selling our farm and hang around, unemployed!”

“But I don’t want to sell the farm and the land of my fathers and my grandfathers!”

“Non Sense”! I thought between me and me.

“It is too much complicate than that. They have to produce satisfying the needs and rights of the consumers… Millions and Billions of consumers…

“They need Traceability Software, Optimal Hygiene, Costs Optimization, Increase the Feed Efficiency, overcome the competition, Quality Certifications… Etc. And to do all that, they need complicated and expensive Infrastructures, Employees, researches and Financing.”

Then I changed the expression of my face, and my “Other me” started arguing: “You mean they have to sell their farms? Do you know how ancient and deep-rooted these farms are? Do you know how many family farmers we have in the Arab World? Do you want them to close their business and beg?”

  My “other me” is right, I said to myself, and with contorted thought I continued: If we don’t protect the producers because we have to protect the consumers, we will end up by having one or two huge producers, end up with the same “standard” end product and end up by declaring the death of the Bio-Diversity… the death of the multiple choice… the death of the consumer… the same one we wanted to protect."

There should be a solution… I think there is a solution… I am sure it is not the only solution, but at least it could be one solution: create a small dairy plant with small equipments, good enough for 100, 200 cows… good enough for only 10 family farms… Allowing them to create their own dairy production with their own commercial name.

It is not so difficult to realize that: the farmers exist, the equipments too, the know how is accessible to all… All that we need is the Will and to get back our dignity of small producers.

 

Can’t we have associations to protect the small producers? The human food producers? It is enough that a political or a social party invests in this small cooperative, in spite of spending on hate and competition, and the job is done… In_sha’-Allah. 

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