The French government has announced a package of aid to milk producers worth at least €60m (US$72.9m).

Covering the period up to 2006, the aid package is designed to maintain a maximum of milk-producers in France while at the same time strengthening the competitiveness of the sector in France and safeguarding jobs, French agriculture minister Herve Gaymard commented.

The minister added that France had obtained the approval of the European Commission to bring forward the date – from 1 December 2004 to 18 October – for the paying out of €280m of direct aid to French milk producers for which provision has been made within the framework of CAP reform.