A new report by GRAIN documents the importance of milk to the livelihoods and health of the poor in many countries of the global South. Most dairy markets are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from small farmers and pastoralists. But they are under threat from dairy corporations, like Nestlé, and other players, like PepsiCo and Cargill, that are trying to take over the dairy sectors in these countries, from the farms to the markets.
Several actions and measures are suggested to stop the corporate hijack of dairy markets:
• High, comprehensive tariffs to prevent the periodic dumping of imported milk powder and cheap dairy products
• A reorientation of dairy production to domestic markets among exporting countries, with programmes such as supply management
• Food safety systems suited to the needs of people not corporate bottom-lines
• Boycotts of large dairy companies and supermarkets
• Divestment campaigns targeted at funds that invest in industrial dairy production in the South
• Solidarity within and across borders between dairy producers, small-scale vendors and processors, consumers and dairy industry workers.