Japan Press Weekly
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Dairy farmers demand that Meiji Dairies Corporation return part of profits
As Japanese dairy farmers are experiencing a life-or-death crisis due to the soaring prices of imported feed, 450 farmers and consumers on March 18 converged on the headquarters of Meiji Dairies Corporation to urge the company to return a part of its profit and increase the producersf price of milk.
Meiji Dairies in 2006 reported an increase in profits to 18.3 billion yen, up 6.9 billion yen from 2002.
Speaking before the participants, Secretary-General of the National Federation of Farmers Movement (Nominren) Sasawatari Yoshio pointed out that European countries are adopting measures to protect dairy farming by making up for losses caused by increases in the prices of feed and said, gMeiji Dairies should return a part of its profits to farmers and commit itself to making an effort to increase the countryfs self-sufficiency rate.h
Participants submitted to Meiji Dairies a statement demanding an increase in the producersf prices of milk. They also made representations to the Japan Dairy Industry Association and urged the agriculture ministry to fulfill its responsibility to support the Japanese livestock and dairy farming.
Nakamura Taneyoshi, 56, from Chiba Prefecture, participated in the action by bringing along a calf and said, gProducersf milk prices have been reduced. The rise in prices of feed forces us to borrow more money to survive. Three dairy farmers killed themselves because they were unable to repay their debts. Dairy farmers should make efforts to achieve milk prices appropriate to milk production in cooperation with producers and consumers.h
Japan has a policy to use feed mixed with imported grains on the grounds that they are more efficient in producing milk, and depends on imports for 75 percent of feed.
- Akahata, March 19, 2008
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