Photos: Dairy farmers soak Brussels streets with milk in price protest

Dairy farmers drowned politicians’ portraits in milk in a protest against plunging prices on Thursday (11 December).

More than 350 farmers from 10 countries joined the European Milk Board’s demonstration outside the offices of the EU Commission in Brussels.

Farmers filled a lake of milk containing pictures of European leaders like German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and EU farm commissioner Phil Hogan.

Brussels milk protest

They then set fire to straw bales in the middle of the street.

Hay in flames

About 60 Polish producers made the trip, even though their country is not an EMB member.

Polish farmers at milk protest

The group warned milk prices will fall well below 30 cents/kg (24p/litre) in the new year, but were already as low as 18-20 cents/kg (14-16p/litre) in the Baltics.

Protest poster

EMB president Romuald Schaber said Europe was flooded with milk and existing crisis instruments such as private storage and intervention were not enough.

“The situation is drastic. We are currently truly awash with milk,” he said.

“Supply is exceeding demand by a long chalk. Without the limiting effect of the quota system in key producing countries such as Germany and Holland, the situation would be a lot worse now.”

Burning picture of Francois Hollande

Mr Schaber said quotas were being abolished in March 2015 for ideological reasons and urged politicans to introduce a programme that would pay farmers to cut back production if milk supplies started running high. 

Lake of milk with photos in

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