Hundreds of sheep farmers gathered in Paris today to protest against falling incomes and to call for more support from the European Commission.
Farming unions claim supermarkets are not passing on a surge in profits.
“We’re asking for an emergency plan. We all have the same problems and we’re fighting for the same reasons and for the same things,” said a French union leader.
Farmers’ groups say their industry is in crisis and many will go out of business if Brussels does not intervene.
“We’re here to support the French farmers because the sheep industry is in a crisis throughout Europe. There is a complete lack of confidence through low returns and ever burdensome regulation,” said one British representative.
Yesterday France’s agriculture minister announced a 250-million euro plan to boost plummeting farm incomes. It included significant subsidies for sheep breeders and tax relief for the sector as a whole.
But farmers say it does not go far enough to relieve poverty and prevent bankruptcies.