Despite having last week put its signature to an agreement over milk prices, France’s powerful farmers federation, the FNSEA, has called on its members in all areas of the farming sector to “make a stand” against market deregulation and the system of price margins, which it says heavily favours food processing groups and retailers.

Action is scheduled to start on Thursday evening (11 June) and continue through Saturday and is likely to target retailers’ distribution platforms as well as hypermarket and supermarket outlets.

Defending the call for fresh protests, the FNSEA told just-food that while agreement had had to be found on milk prices in order “to prevent the worst,” the underlying issue of market deregulation in the farming sector remained unresolved.   

A senior official warned of “robust action” all over France with the aim of “putting an end to the game of bluff which the food industry and retailers indulge themselves in [with regard to margins].”

“We are going to demonstrate in such a way that consumers will know once and for all just who, the food processors or the retailers, pockets the profits,” he added .

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The FNSEA highlighted that it is pig farmers and fruit and vegetable growers who are hardest-hit by the current system of price margins but has called on its members in other sectors, including dairy farmers, to support the protests.   

On Monday, action by farmers in the Brittany region had led to the blockading of several distribution platforms operated by major retailers such as Leclerc, Carrefour, Casino and Intermarché. The FNSEA said these protests were largely orchestrated by milk producers who have not accepted last week’s price agreement.