Falling milk prices have boosted support among Europe’s dairy farmers for an all-out strike to highlight their problems. Belgian farmers staged a very graphic protest about the state of their industry, pouring away thousands of litres of fresh millk. It is thought that perhaps 40,000 of their collegues around Europe are now prepared to defy union advice and go further to get their message across.
“We have staged protests throughout southern Belgium this weekend, and today we have thrown away the equivalent of a day’s production, so if the unions don’t want to support us, we will do it without them,” warned Belgian farmer Sebastien Demoitie. Major dairy unions in France and Belgium are against a milk strike, but do support protests and demonstrations. In Belgium, three million litres of milk were wasted to illustrate the point. Across the border, Paris said milk deliveries to French shops are down by nearly half. The farmers have some political support: many EU states are warming to the idea of regulatory reforms to help producers who say globalisation is killing the countryside.