Talks between German farmers and the dairy industry have commenced today (2 June) as farmers across Europe join the protest for higher milk prices.

“Farmers in six countries have now joined the strike,” Sonya Kovspeter of the European Milk Board (EMB) told just-food. “Action is being taken in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Austria.”

According to the EMB, the delivery boycott is having varying consequences in each region.

“In Belgium and the Netherlands we are seeing a great impact on supplies of milk to supermarkets. In Germany it will take more time as the dairy industry has been more organised in its response, diverting milk from cheese production into liquid milk,” Kovspeter said.

Nevertheless, after almost a week of action, the German dairy industry has started negotiations with the farmers’ representatives.

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“In Germany the first talks between the Dairy Industry Federation and [German Federal Dairy Farmers Association] BDM have begun today,” Kovspeter said.

According to the farmers’ union, a kilogram of milk solids fetches 27 cents (US$0.42) in the north of Germany and 35 cents in the south of the country.

The BDM said that this does not cover the cost of production and is calling for a base price of 43 cents per kilogram.