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EU to Watch Dairy Sector Collapse

08 September 2009

EU - The European Commission are refusing to help while dairy businesses go bankrupt, European farmers believe.

The EU Agriculture Council met in Brussels on Monday 7 September to discuss the situation of the milk industry. Outside on the streets, hundreds of dairy farmers demonstrated to demand more support following a collapse in milk prices.

Farm ministers from the EU's 27 nations discussed measures to help the struggling dairy industry alongside the phasing out of milk quotas by 2015.

European farmers have increased the protests in recent months, pouring litres of milk onto the street and blockading roads. Last week Irish demonstrators used mobile milking parlours to milk cows outside government offices in a bid to highlight the chaos and collapse of the dairy industry.

Following the collapse of the economy, European countries are demanding support through financial aid or by limiting supplies. A French-German proposal to set a minimum price for milk at the national level between producers and industry was supported by 14 other nations. However, other more traditional countries insisted the milk sector should be liberalised. Reports across Europe state that the European Commission rejected outright the French-German proposal.

Without an immediate breakthrough the EU is being criticised across member states for allowing the situation to worsen. EU agricultural organisations, Copa and Cogeca, have warned that the EU dairy market will deteriorate further without strong market measures in place. Copa President, Padraig Walshe said that many farmers will go out of business whilst waiting for EU politicians to take action.

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