Trade unions in north-west Spain are to step up protests over claims the milk industry is refusing to raise farmer prices – which they say are well below the national and European average.

“This is going to continue,” a spokesman for Unions Agrarias, a producers’ association in the region of Galicia, said, adding that his team and the region’s producer cooperatives will mount campaigns locally and across Spain to pressure consumers to shun dairy processors Lactalis, Lacteos Lence and Leite Celta, which they claim refuse to pay farmers fair prices.

His comments come after unions on Saturday (11 September) lifted a three-day boycott that saw the three companies’ factories blocked.

Opposition parties in Galicia have also criticised the government for failing to act on the farmers’ behalf.

The BNG political party has said last week’s blockades cost the Galician dairy industry EUR200m (US$259.9m) and it has urged the state to broker a deal with the main industry federation Fenil to raise regional milk prices. The party claims milk prices stand at EUR27.5 cent a litre, compared to higher rates in the rest of Spain and the EUR32-cent European average.

Unions have cricised Fenil for failing to act. Fenil did not return a request for comment.