Dairy farmers have sprayed tractor-loads of milk powder onto a European Council building in Brussels to protest about low prices.
The EU bought large quantities of skimmed milk powder in an effort to stabilise the market, but the bloc says it will begin disposing of it as prices have improved.
Protesters claim this will depress prices both in Europe and in emerging countries.
Milk producer Guy Franck said:
“The problem we have today […] is that we still have this burden of 500,000 tonnes of milk that cost people money. We’d need this stock to disappear so we can start producing again in a correct and regulated way.
“This is what we came to ask Europe today. So that at least a voluntary freeze in production, if applied, is applied in the same way in all member states. And so the big producers can also be blocked, which is not the case today.”
But the European Commission disagrees with the demonstrators and the figures given. It says sales would be made without affecting prices or the stability of the market, adding that only a small amount of the 354,000 tonnes of milk powder stock was for sale.