European milk farmers pay Merkel a visit

After a call by the European Milk Board (EMB) and the Association of German dairy farmers (BDM), a demonstration for a fair milk market was held in Berlin on 3 and 4 June.

Merkel's intimate relationship with the milk industry

On the second day of the protest, several hundred farmers from Germany, Poland, France and the Netherlands – accompanied by about 20 tractors and cows – gathered in front of the Federal Chancellery. A huge wall built using straw bales was symbolically torn down to call for a functioning and fair milk market, and to protest against the current blocking by Minister Aigner and Chancellor Merkel. The prevented EU market instruments, required for an economically sustainable future for rural dairy farmers, are urgently needed.

In the current trilogue negotiations on agricultural reform in Brussels an issue of particular interest is the so-called voluntary production cuts that would allow farmers to adjust milk production to the market situation. These measures would be temporary and cost-neutral for taxpayers. Such as crisis instrument would prevent overproduction and stabilize the price of milk.

Aigner and Merkel however have once again shown their support for the export-oriented dairy industry, who has lobbied heavily against the proposal so as to continue benefitting from low prices. Most small farmers cannot live from these low prices.

Find photos of the action here.

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