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Milk supplies drying up amid German price row

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Milk supplies drying up amid German price row
Photo: DPA
11:03 CEST+02:00
Stores in Germany could see the first supply shortages of milk by as early as Tuesday amid the escalating dairy farmer delivery boycott over low milk prices.

“There are delivery shortages and they are growing by the hour,” Eckhard Heuser, head of the German Milk Industry Association (MIV), told the Financial Times Deutschland on Tuesday.

Consumers might have trouble finding both fresh milk and long-lasting UHT milk, according to Heuser.

The tabloid daily Bild reported that the large creamery Ehrmann will be forced to shut down production on Tuesday should blockades by farmers at its facilities continue.

The German Farmers Association (DBV) said it expects creameries and retailers to agree to begin price negotiations immediately now that consumers will soon begin to feel the affects of the week-long delivery boycott.

“The situation is clear. The creameries have to now approach each retailer separately,” said DBV spokesman Michael Lohse on Monday evening after talks with the German Retailers Association (HDE) in Cologne.

German dairy farmers have engaged in a delivery boycott since last Tuesday to protest prices for milk they consider too low. Currently they are paid between €0.27 to €0.35 per litre of milk, but are demanding €0.43 per litre.

The milk row started to escalate on Monday after angry dairy farmers blockaded several large dairy facilities to prevent milk from being delivered and cheese and other products from being sent to stores. Police were forced to clear the streets and one dairy company in Mecklenburg filed charges against the dairy farmers.

The German Milk Industry Association (MIV) considers the boycotts against the law and is also considering legal action against the farmers. “The boycotts are illegal and what's illegal should be countered by the law,” MIV manager Eberhard Hetzner told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Tuesday.

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