French set the pace in milk ‘strike’ initiative

MORE than 5,000 French dairy farmers have withheld milk for the past week in protest at low prices, according to the European Milk Board. Farmers in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg have also held back milk.

Belgian farmers flooded a main square in the city of Charleroi with milk, and blocked roads and prevented trucks from picking up milk.

Dutch and Italian farmers were also considering action, an EMB spokeswoman said.

In France, the OPL dairy union said 30% of producers had joined the strike, leaving processors collecting only about half of the normal milk volume in major producing regions. Some German and Dutch milk producers said they supported the French call, but were barred by law from strike action.

The EMB want the EU to drop plans to increase quotas — even though Commission officials predict milk production will be 4-5% under quota this year.

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