France could be heading for a milk supply crisis as collections in many regions of the country were brought to a standstill on Thursday as producers staged a day of action in protest to fall in prices.

The producers say a 3% cut was introduced “unilaterally” in July by the processing companies and co-operatives adding that in so doing they have broken an agreement reached in September 2004.

Collections were particularly hit in western France, which accounts for around half of national output and disruption was also reported in the south-west and east of the country.

France’s Federation of Dairy Co-operatives (FNCL) said the price reduction had been a difficult to decision to make but the survival of its member firms was at stake.  It added that it could not be held responsible for the consequences of international trade agreements and CAP reform.