Lactalis targeted in milk price protests

Lactalis targeted in milk price protests

French dairy giant Lactalis will resume negotiations with farmers' unions as protests over the price paid for raw milk continue. 

Prior talks had broken up without an agreement Friday. Unions are demanding an increase in prices to EUR290-300 per 1,000 litre, from EUR270. Lactalis is thought to have offered much less than this figure.

In a move to get Lactalis back around the negotiating table, yesterday unions began national action targeting 15 of the dairy group's plants and removing Lactalis products from supermarket shelves. 

Action continued overnight despite Lactalis' agreement to return to the negotiating table. A spokesman for French farmers union, the FNSEA, warned protests would continue until an agreement was reached.

Lactalis has called for "calm and for everyone to act responsibly" while questioning the "one-upmanship" of the FNSEA in orchestrating the protests.

The unions claim overproduction in the EU means prices for many milk producers in France have fallen below cost levels.

Speaking on French radio station, France Info, French agriculture minister, Stephane Le Foll said it was not acceptable Lactalis paid the lowest price per litre of milk among French dairies but insisted he could not intervene in the discussions.