A humble glass of milk proved hard to swallow in Germany as farmers, distributors and the government met to discuss arguments over prices. At root is the farmers’ demand to be paid more. They currently get 32 eurocents per litre, a ten percent rise in a year, but they say costs have soared even higher.
German prices have been under pressure since the EU raised production quotas in April. Farmers complain that higher prices in the shops have not filtered down to them.
Gerd Sonnleitner, President of the German Farmers’ Association, said:
“It would be all right if other countries would comply with the European quotas. But if it is only Germany who scales back its milk production, nothing will change.”
Last month farmers briefly stopped sending milk to distributors, and only resumed deliveries when they agreed to pay more. But even though retail prices rose higher, farmers say they are still losing out. They say they are prepared to take further action if nothing comes out of today’s talks.