Danish farmer Kjartan Poulsen has been elected as the new chair of the European Milk Board (EMB) by dairy producers.

The EMB has members in 16 European countries representing around 100,000 milk producers.

The board’s mission statement is for “forward-looking, sustainable milk production in every region of Europe that enables farmers to earn a decent living from their labour”.

The EMB’s latest general assembly, saw German BDM representative Elmar Hannen selected as deputy chair.

President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) Pat McCormack was re-elected to the EMB board.

Boris Gondouin from France, Belgian representative Guy Francq and Italy’s Roberto Cavaliere also retained their seats on the board.

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Kjartan Poulsen, who is the former EMB deputy chair, said that he is planning to focus on farmer participation in the design and implementation of the EU Green Deal.

“So far, policy-makers have been dictating what is to be done, without regard for the opinion and experience of EU food producers.

“This is a big mistake coming at a high cost for everyone. Without producers’ active involvement, there can be no successful climate policy,” he said.

The EMB general assembly also called for an EU regulation to ban products from being sold below the cost of production.

Poulsen said that the EMB’s Fair Milk Project must be expanded to include more producers in other countries.

The project currently running in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany aims to secure a fair price for high-quality dairy products by allowing farmers to establish a direct relationship with consumers.

Tributes were paid to the outgoing EMB chair, Sieta van Keimpema from the Netherlands for her “unwavering commitment to European milk producers”.

She has held numerous roles at the EMB since its foundation in 2006.

“Sieta van Keimpema is an exceptional person for the EMB and we owe her a debt of gratitude. We wish her all the best for her future projects, into which she will undoubtedly invest just as much energy,” Poulsen said.