For ten days now farmer Jugoslav Tomic from the village of Stajicevo near the city of Zrenjanin has been spilling all the milk his farm produces because no dairy factory is interested in purchasing it.
So far Tomic has spilt over 20 tons of milk, while he says he fails to understand why no one is interested in the 2.5 tons of milk that his farm produces daily.
“I called all the dairy factories, Imlek, Ub, the Pancevo dairy and Mlekoprodukt, only the Pancevo factory said it would buy the milk but for some ridiculous price, and a man offered to process it, but we are very far away, some four hours,” Tomic told N1.
He added that he and his family see no future in this business, “which is why we have decided to send the cows to the slaughterhouse.”
Tomic says the dairy factories tell him that they all have surplus milk “some have up to 100 tons of surplus milk per week, some three to five to five tons, when I called a dairy plant they told me they also have three tons of surplus milk and asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested in buying it.”
Asked for his opinion as to why there is now a surplus when there were milk shortages just a few months ago, the farmer said the European Union probably has a lot of milk and that someone has allowed uncontrolled imports.
Tomic said he thought about donating the milk, but that “the law is such that we cannot give raw milk away, it has to be pasteurized, I asked some factories to do this, but they even asked me to pay for it.”
Asked to comment on Agriculture Minister Jelena Tanaskovic’s accusations that farmers are refusing to sell milk at a lower price, Tomic said that he did not spill the milk because he wants a better price “but because no one wants to buy it.”
“Our working day is sad: we get up, we milk the cows, cool the milk, we struggle to sell something privately, in the end we spill it, throw it away, wash everything, disinfect it, and then we do it all over again… I think that soon another 30 cows will go to the slaughterhouse, if this keeps up they will all be slaughtered,” said Tomic sadly.