The saying goes: Don’t cry over spilled milk, but these farmers say they simply can’t carry on at current prices.
This demonstration is to mark the 10 year anniversary of a protest which saw Belgian dairy farmers spray 3 million litres of milk over the very same field they’re in now.
“We are exactly in the same situation as the dairy producers ten years ago, when they didn’t have quotas anymore, and had to work below their production costs; so they lost money producing milk,” Jean-Jo Rigo, a farmer tells our reporter.
Around 600 tractors from across Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands turning up to voice their demands for production quotas which they hope would boost prices.
The difference between this protest and ten years ago is that it isn’t only dairy farmers who brought their tractors out to the field, it’s also pig, cattle, sheep and arable farmers who are all unhappy about the pricings.
The farmers say the EU’s trade deals with Canada and the Latin American Mercusor bloc are flooding European markets.
They say citizens must boycott all imported produce and only shop locally.
“The European agricultural policy is the only policy that is totally integrated in the EU, and moreover, that is used by the European trade direction as leverage in international treaties,” Hugues Falys – FUGEA tells Euronews.
The European Commission has just launched a fresh set of measures aimed at forcing transparency around the pricing of produce.
But the farmers say unless more action is taken to support them when the EU’s agricultural policy is renewed post-2020, they’re feelings towards those in power will remain sour.