Dairy farmers have poured on to streets of several European cities to show their anger at collapsing milk prices.
In Brussels around a thousand farmers gathered in front of the EU commission. They say the price paid for milk by butter and cheese makers has dropped by 30 percent in a year, despite commercial firms skimming large profits. Shouting ‘Fair prices for milk’ frustration spilled over with some protesters, who had a live cow. . This German farmer said:“The price is too low and it just has to be increased. Volume has to go down, as there is too much milk. Car producers have set an example”. France, backed by Austria and Germany is pushing the EU to help Europe’s dairy sector cope with the glut in prices and low export volumes. While the Commission has moved to prop up dairy markets through measures such as reinstating export subsidies, producers and unions are calling for an EU cut in production to drive up prices. Oliver Picot from the French Federation of Milk Industries said: ‘‘A large part of French and European milk is exported to the rest of the world as butter or powder. These markets have collapsed. Historically, they’re at their lowest ever level because China and Russian aren’t buying. That means a global surplus with huge losses for business.’‘ The European Commission, which is meeting in Brussels today to discuss the crisis, has so far resisted demands to bring in a Europe wide production cut.