France: Decreasing numbers of dairy farmers
The French Institute for Livestock (Institut de l'Elevage) has predicted that the number of dairy farmers will continue to decrease when young farmers are not actively encouraged to go in the business.
Until now, France has been able to retain a large amount of its dairy farmers by a policy of settlement and a restricted production, economy expert Christophe Perrot said.
That is why France was able to educate and appoint extraordinary amounts of young farm managers at the beginning of this deacade.
In 2015, however, the experts predict 46% to be older than 50 years. "Due to the lack of farm managers we have noticed a strong reduction of the number of dairy farms," Perrot said. In the year 2014, prospects indicate, the number of dairy farms will be 62,000 – which is 26,000 less than in 2007.
To counter this development, diversification of young farmer education needs to be implemented, and farm settlement needs to be encouraged and supported.
• Institut de l'Elevage
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