French farmers’ blockades continue as price agony increases

French farmers have vowed to continue their protests this week, demanding an end to low prices and unfair working conditions.

The French government has promised to unblock €290m (£220m) of additional funds to help struggling farmers, but that has done little to ease tensions.

Angry farmers have been protesting against weak farmgate prices for milk, beef, pork and some vegetables, which they say are well below the cost of production.

See also: Furious French farmers ramp up protests over prices

Analysts say the crisis in agriculture has been caused by the Russian ban on western food imports, a fall in global demand and oversupply of milk, a steep drop in demand from China, diminishing incomes, mounting debts, government inaction and red tape.

French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll said structural reform will be necessary to solve the financial problems of farmers.

In the meantime, he said the French government would be seeking to make more advance payments of CAP farm subsidies to stem the crisis.

In the UK, dairy lobby group Farmers For Action has warned that hundreds of dairy farmers are ready to march on Westminster in the middle of next month to protest against the ongoing dairy crisis.

Here is a selection of images which capture the intensity of the French farmer protests this week.


French farmer blockade

Jean Marc David/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

French farmers have accused their government of not doing enough to mitigate the fall in farmgate prices of meat and dairy products, which are well below the cost of production.

Jean Marc David/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Jean Marc David/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

French farmers dumped hay to blockade slip roads onto the RN12 motorway at Baud, in Morbihan, Brittany, on Wednesday (27 January).

French farmer tractor blockade

© Jean Marc David/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Police were mobilised on the RN12 to cope with hundreds of protesting farmers on Wednesday (27 January).

French farmers create road blockade

© Jean Marc David/SIPA-REX/Shutterstock

Hundreds of tyres have been torched on a number of major roads in western France.

Fire on French parade

© Jean Marc-David/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Two hundred protesting farmers with 30 tractors blocked the RN12 road between Saint-Brieuc and Rennes with concrete barriers and burning tyres on 20 January.

French protests

© Jean Marc David/SIPA-Rex/Shutterstock

The National Federation of Agricultural Holders’ Unions (FNSEA), a French organisation which represents local agricultural unions and regional federations, is pushing the country’s government to work harder to find solutions to the problems at EU level.

© Alain Robert/Apercu/Sipa/Rex Shutterstock

© Alain Robert/Apercu/Sipa/Rex Shutterstock

French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll has offered a further €290m (£221) plan to help struggling farmers, but many remain unconvinced.

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