About 6,000 furiated farmers from across the 28-nation EU protested in Bruxelles on Monday to demand higher prices for their milk and meat and requested help from European Union. A response came immediately, with European Commission presenting a support plan worth $560 million.
The situation was really tense. Furiated farmers brought 2,000 tractors and blocked traffic in around the city, relentlessly blowing their horns. But that was the soft part. Protesters pelted police with eggs and sprayed them with hay before the police acted and dispersed them with a water cannon. Farmers are unhappy because they have to sell milk below productions prices, due to a oversupplied market.
“Prices have gone down 30-40 percent for most farmers and our farms are really going bankrupt like this,” said Sieta van Keimpema, vice president of the European Milk Board farmers group, according to stltoday.com. Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice President, thinks that these measures will help furiated farmers overpass their cash crisis.
Meanwhile, some farmers have called for a reintroduction of quotas on production or more direct aid from their governments to pay the bills.A tense situation between Russia and EU isn’t helping farmers either. Of last year, Vladimir Putin’s country has placed a ban on the import of all meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy productis from the US, EU, Australia, Canada and Norway, in response to the economic sanctions placed by western countries on Russia as result of russian military developments in Ukraine.
Russia imported from this countries, in 2012, over 1 million tonnes of meat, meaning that this producers needed to look for a new markets, which, in most cases, already had established suppliers. Quotes to limit dairy production were abolished in April and overproduction has caused prices to decrease, leaving the industry in a tough position. Hopefully, the European Commission,with this support plan, will help furiated farmers get back on track.