UPDATE - SWITZ: Retailers praised as milk strike ends
Emmi, the Swiss dairy giant, has praised the country's retailers for their part in resolving the stand-off with the country's milk farmers.
Swiss farmers said this morning (3 June) that they would end their milk delivery boycott after they secured higher prices following late-night talks with dairy processors and retailers.
Negotiations had been held since Sunday and came as farmers across Western Europe stopped delivering milk to dairies and blockaded factories in protest at the low price of milk.
While talks continue in the Netherlands and Germany, a resolution was reached in Switzerland in the early hours of this morning after dairy processors agreed to increase the price paid to farmers by CHF0.06 ($0.06) per kilo of milk. Some farmers had called for a raise of CHF0.10.
The price increase will come into force from 1 July and remain binding for six months.
Emmi, one of the dairy processors involved in the talks, said agreement was secured after Swiss retailers, including Migros and Coop, said they would pass on the higher prices to consumers.
"It was mainly due to the intervention of the retailers that the whole situation came back to normal," an Emmi spokesman told just-food. "We are passing on prices to retailers [and] consumer prices will go up."
The spokesman admitted the milk blockade had put "pressure" on Emmi's production as the company saw its supplies cut by up to 25%. "If we had seen a 50% reduction in milk, there would certainly have been a problem," he said.
However, Emmi is concerned that the agreement with Swiss farmers could mean its milk costs are higher than its European counterparts. "The big question is what is going to happen abroad," the spokesman said.
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