European farmers will stage a mass demonstration in Brussels on 7 September to protest about the situation facing the farming industry.
The action will be organised by the European farmers’ and co-operatives’ groups Copa and Cogeca, which say they will take action in response to the “drastic” situation hitting producers.
Protesters will gather outside a meeting of EU agriculture ministers in the Rue de la Loi to underline what they claim is an unprecedented situation facing a wide cross-section of producers.
“There is an extremely difficult situation in the EU pigmeat, dairy, fruit and vegetable and beef markets, mainly as a result of the Russian export restrictions which shot the EU’s main export market overnight,” said a Copa-Cogeca statement.
“Prices are below production costs in many countries forcing some out of business.”
While the EU Commission had taken some steps to alleviate the situation, it was nowhere near enough to compensate producers for their losses, it said.
“Producers are the victims of international politics. The EU Commission, ministers and MEPs must act.”
Farmer protests have already flared up across Europe with action seen in the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Germany.
The European Milk Board has warned that milk prices are now so low that they are “plunging European dairy farmers into the abyss.”
The EMB has called for an overhaul of the current milk system to reduce volumes, claiming alternatives such as propping up the price by raising the intervention price will only stimulate production and make the problem worse.
Meanwhile, German and French dairy farmers have put out a statement to stress their solidarity and to make a joint demand for reform of the dairy sector.
They have called for a crisis management system to be introduced to restore market balance.