Dairy Farmers Protest Milk Price Collapse

Epoch Times8. September 2009 Aktualisiert: 8. September 2009 21:27

Dairy farmers are once again protesting the drop in milk prices and call upon the European Union for support. The European Union ministers are considering new proposals to deal with the situation.

Nearly one thousand farmers protested the drop in milk prices in front of the European Union on Monday. They are calling on the European Union ministers for more support.

They have been protesting for months, and are considering a milk strike as a last resort.

[Marc Tarabella, Belgian member, European Parliament]:
„The next stage may well be a milk strike and to milk and then throw away the milk since it brings them no income anyway. It costs them to work today and so it would be a further stage but which, in order for their voices to be heard, may well be necessary.”

The EU meeting was set up to discuss proposals to deal with collapsing milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products, but was not intended to come up with a solution on Monday.

European milk farmers hope Monday’s meeting will create positive results.

[Jose Ryckebosch, Belgian Farmer]:
„We make a lot of investments, just as they do in industry, but they no longer pay off and we can’t live off it anymore.”

Milk prices have hit a 50-year low, but there has been a slight increase in demand in some countries.

[Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner]:
“I see some green shoots of improvement in the dairy sector. It was badly needed, it doesn’t fulfil all our requirement, but if you look at the spot market prices it seems to be recovering although not at the previous level, but it’s a signal in the right direction. I’m sure we are going to havean intense discussion today on which of the tools in the milk paper can be used.”

The European Milk Board has proposed dairy farmers only produce what they can sell in Europe and to raise prices by 40 cents a liter outside Europe.

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