Europe braces for milk shortages as farmers call for strike

DAIRY farmers from across Europe are threatening to disrupt milk supplies and leave supermarket shelves empty.

The European Milk Board (EMB) said farmers were ‘livid’ over the ‘negligent, ineffective approach’ of politicians in Europe, warning the industry was on the verge of an all-out strike.

In a call to arms to farmers gathered in Paris yesterday, president of the French dairy farmers’ organisation OPL, Daniel Condat said: “For months countless families have been fighting for the survival of their farms across the European agricultural landscape, and all the European Council and the European Commission have done so far is to spend a fortune on unsuitable measures and blindly pursue their policy of deregulation.”

“For weeks and weeks on end our warning calls and our negotiations with our elected members, representatives, and all types of decision-makers remained futile and fruitless.

“Only the last-ditch effort of the milk strike can allow us to force through our demands. Even though no producer today has the requisite finances, we will begin this act of self-mutilation, aimed at calling the attention of every level of the state and Europe to the extreme gravity of the situation.”

The strike action is unanimously supported by members of the EMB and while it will initially begin only in France, there are fears there could be direct action taken in countries across Europe.

Ernst Halbmayr, member of the Board of the EMB and spokesman for the Austrian organisation IG-Milch, said: “It’s not just the French dairy farmers that are so furious, scared about their livelihood and prepared to fight for their farms.

“The governments of the EU and those at the top of the European Commission have an obligation to take the necessary corrective steps.”

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