Dairy farmers have converged on Brussels to protest against the EU’s milk policy.
Similar rallies are also taking place in Paris and Berlin. Producers say the price paid for milk by butter and cheese makers is too low. They claim the amount they receive from commercial diaries has fallen by 30 percent, despite firms making large profits. Many are calling for a cut in production to boost prices. One 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”. One farmers union in France has described the market fall as ‘catastrophic’. Earlier, French farmers vented their anger by setting light to piles of tyres. French unions are also pushing the EU to cut production. “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 Russia aren’t buying. Today this is leaving a global surplus with huge losses for business,’‘ said Oliver Picot from the French Federation of Milk Industries. Despite the growing pressure the European Commission has ruled out any production cut. Agriculture ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the crisis.