Lactalis have agreed to raise prices following protests in Laval
French farmers have called off their protests following an agreement with Lactalis. Farmers will now be paid 27.5 cents per litre for the whole of 2016.
About 400 French dairy farmers blockaded the Lactalis site in Laval, Western France, preventing lorries from entering or leaving the premises.
Farmers gathered overnight (August 23) and about 200 farmers remained at the site this morning.
Lactalis agreed to pay an average 275 euros ($307) per 1,000 litres of milk for the whole of 2016. It was previously paying €257 (£221) per 1000 litres of milk but unions said this is beneath production costs and between €10 and €30 less than some competitors.
The protests were organised by the country’s national union, FDSEA and Jeunes Agriculteurs young farmers’ group.
In an open letter to Lactalis, Jeremy Decerle, president of Jeunes Agriculteurs, denied the suggestion other European countries ’accept the low prices today without flinching’.
"We are close enough to our Spanish colleagues, Italian, Portuguese, Belgian or German, to name a few, to know that they are not. The crisis is severely affecting all European producers."
Lactalis’ brands include President, Bridel, Galbani and Lactel.
Global oversupply, a Russian ban on imports and a drop in Chinese imports have affected prices for milk around Europe, including in the UK.
French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll has called for talks over milk prices and said the government were ready to mediate to help resolve the situation.
It comes as the European Commission prepares to release final details for an EU wide scheme to encourage producers to reduce milk production on August 25.
Producers could be offered compensation of 12ppl will be paid to producers on the basis they commit to reducing production compared with last year over a three month period.