Dairy farmers flood fields with milk to protest of low prices
DDP/The Local · 17 Sep 2009, 16:19
Published: 17 Sep 2009 16:19 GMT+02:00
“With this action we want to call attention to our enormous grievances caused by perverse policies,” Engelbert Vogerl, head of the eastern Allgäu regional chapter of the German Federal Dairy Farmers Association (BDM).
A group of BDM members near the Bavarian town of Irpisdorf brought tractors and transporters full of milk to spray on fields.
Meanwhile, 100 others met at a market square in the Rhineland-Palatinate town of Erbendorf to pour their milk down the gutters.
In the Lower Saxon city of Visselhövede, farmers said they spilled 70,000 litres of milk on a field.
Among them was farmer Ottmar Böhling from Rotenburg, who told journalists his group wanted to show solidarity with dairy farmers suffering across Europe.
Head of the National Union of Farmers (DBV), Gerd Sonnleitner, was also critical of European Union plans to help struggling dairy farmers. EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has said the EU could give the farmers a one-off payment of between €7,500 and €15,000 to cover their losses and asked individual countries to buy up excess milk on the market to artificially increase prices.
Sonnleitner called the plans “highly dangerous.”
“The commission is moving far too slowly, far too vaguely,” he said.
Germany’s 90,000 dairy farmers have been fighting for more than a year – staging delivery boycotts, strikes and large demonstrations – to gain attention to their plight.