Talks are continuing in Luxemburg where beleaguered milk farmers are demonstrating outside a meeting of the EU’s agriculture ministers.
Falling milk prices have led to the European commission taking action after coming under pressure from 20 member states. Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel insists they couldn’t have reacted any other way, and that they are doing as much as they can: “We have already addressed a significant number of the farmer’s concerns, and I’m going to empty my pockets and provide them with 280 million euros,” she said. Farmers however are worried the problem will return to haunt them in the future. They are pressing for long-term solutions rather than stop-gap remedies. Proposals to renew buying of stocks to support prices, the policy that once led to milk lakes and butter mountains, is back on the table, but the Commission has rejected the idea of allowing increased use of milk powder in animal feed.