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Milk strike damages estimated at €50 mln

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Milk strike damages estimated at €50 mln
Milking stations at a standstill on Tuesday. Photo: DPA
08:36 CEST+02:00
Creameries affected by the milk delivery strike by dairy farmers in the last week have suffered millions of euros in damages, according the German daily Bild on Wednesday.

Damages so far are “definitely €50 million” because of production stoppages, head of the German Milk Industry Association (MIV) Eberhard Hetzner told the paper.

The strike and blockades have affected about half of the some 110 German creameries, Hetzner said, adding that most of the blockade locations had settled down.

“There are hardly any more blockades at the creameries,” he said. “Everything will be running smoothly by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.”

Bild also reported that the Ehrmann creamery is considering taking legal action against the dairy farmers.

“It was illegal to seal off our businesses,” said Werner Hahn, member of the management board for the country's five largest creameries. “We're keeping our options open to sue for damages.”

Agricultural minister for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Christian von Boetticher, condemned the strikes.

“This is a provocation,” he said. “At my house we say that one doesn't throw food away.”

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.

Farmers have openly thrown the surplus milk down drains, fed it to their calves, or spread it over crops.

The German Farmers Association (DBV) said Tuesday 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.

Meanwhile dairy farmers across Europe have shown solidarity with the German strike.

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