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June 6, 2008

GERMANY: Milk strike ends to pave way for talks

German farmers have ended their ten-day strike after winning assurances from major retailers that milk prices would increase.

German farmers have ended their ten-day strike after winning assurances from major retailers that milk prices would increase.

Discount supermarket chain Lidl has agreed to raise milk prices by EUR0.10 (US$0.16) a litre and other major supermarkets have followed suit including Rewe, Norma, Plus and Edeka.

German farmers have campaigned for a minimum payment of EUR0.43 per kilo of milk and launched a delivery boycott to force the hand of dairy processors and retailers. Prices are currently between EUR0.25 and EUR0.35 a kilo.

The farmers’ union, the BDM, urged its members to resume milk deliveries yesterday (5 June) and said detailed price negotiations would start.

“We are very pleased that companies like Lidl have agreed to increase the price they pay the dairies for milk and dairy products. We are now calling on the dairy companies to pass these gains on to their farmers,” a BDM spokesperson told just-food.
 
“It remains to be seen how the talks progress, but we are hopeful that retailers and dairies now see the need to increase payments to farmers.”

Dairy farmers in six countries across Europe, including Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland have organised a series of protests at falling milk prices. So far, price increases have now been won in Switzerland and Germany.

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