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Dairy Farmers to Demand Change in Brussels

16 June 2009

BRUSSELS, EU - On 18 and 19 June milk producers from all over Europe will be demonstrating with their tractors to make it very clear to the heads of state and government of the EU countries at their meeting in Brussels how drastic the milk market situation in Europe is.

German dairy farmers will also be calling on fellow female farmers in Europe to camp for one night outside the European Council building, reports the EuropeanMilkBoard.

"We call on the European heads of state and government to put the catastrophic milk market situation at the top of the agenda", says Romuald Schaber, President of the European Milk Board (EMB), explaining the background to the widespread campaign of action.

The first tractors will already be setting off on Saturday from some EMB countries for two large demonstrations outside the EU Council building on 18 and 19 June to demand that the EU heads of state and government finally take effective measures to combat the crisis. In many countries, farmers are being paid as little as 20 cents for a litre of milk – and the trend is downwards.

It is of urgent necessity to take immediate action and introduce a flexible control of volumes enabling supply to be adjusted to demand. That is the only way to achieve a cost-covering milk price across the market. "Pseudo-measures like export subsidies or preferential treatment of direct payments grasp the wrong end of the stick and fritter away EU funds", says Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-President of the EMB.

Dairy farmers from Germany have also called on their fellow female farmers in Europe to camp outside the EU Council building in the night of 18/19 June to bring home the demands. In May, female dairy farmers from the German Dairy Farmers Association (BDM) had already spent several nights outside the Federal Chancellor’s Office in Berlin, some of them even on a hunger strike that lasted several days.

They had demanded that German Chancellor Angela Merkel put the milk price crisis at the top of the agenda. Back in April EMB farmers had camped outside the Dutch parliament in the Netherlands during a Milk Night and called on the politicians to finally take action about the milk price crisis.

Up until then the milk price crisis issue had been low down on the list of European political priorities. That has to change if the disastrous situation is to be taken in hand and further strangling of European dairy farms prevented.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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