It’s all about milk: without this staple food, nothing works in the district of forchheim. Around 61,000 hectoliters of fresh milk were drunk here last year – 53 liters per capita. In addition, around 2700 tons of cheese and 700 tons of butter were produced. This was announced by the food and beverage workers’ union (NGG), citing new figures from the federal institute for agriculture and food (bafa).
"A large part of the milk not only comes from bavarian farms, but is also processed in local dairies", says michael grundl of the NGG in upper franconia.
An argument for professionals
This "bavaria-milk-balance" the 82 companies in the dairy industry produced 8.6 million hectoliters of consumer milk last year – 20 percent more than was consumed in bavaria itself. In the case of cheese, two-thirds of domestic production was eaten outside of bavaria. Trade unionist grundl talks about "milk as an economic factor and demands: "now is the time for the employees to get a good piece of the pie again." For the approximately 17,000 employees in the bavarian dairy industry, the NGG is demanding a wage increase of 5.8 percent in the current round of collective bargaining. Trainees to receive 80 euros more per year of training. "The industry is dependent on skilled workers. But you can only attract them with good working conditions and solid pay. However, wages account for only six percent of sales", grundl emphasizes. There is clearly room for improvement. If you pay well, it will be easier to find specialists for the complex work in milk refinement in the future.
At the same time, the union is campaigning for fair producer prices: "farmers also need stable milk prices to secure their livelihoods." The dairy industry is dependent on the regional raw material, michael grundl continues. Together, producers and processors in bavaria produced a world-renowned quality product. "Those who work with milk must also be able to make a good living from it."
Collective bargaining for the bavarian dairy industry begins on 26. September.