German dairy farmers protest fall in milk prices
Berlin - Around 10,000 dairy farmers in three German cities protested Wednesday about the collapse of milk prices to around 0.20 euros (26 cents) per litre.
"We are standing with our backs to the wall," said Romuald Schaber, chairman of the Federation of German Dairy Farmers (BDM), at a rally in the northern city of Hanover.
Dairy farmers are seeking a two-fold increase in the amount they are paid for their milk as well as a retention of milk quotas due to disappear under European Union regulations in 2015.
Protests were also held in Berlin and the southern city of Stuttgart, part of a Europe-wide day of demonstrations organized by the European Milk Board in 14 countries.
Germany's 100,000 dairy farmers claim they are the weakest link in a chain that includes 300 milk producers and 10 giant supermarket chains who are able to dictate prices.
The global economic crisis and a collapse in exports, especially to eastern Europe, had also hit the income of farmers, who say they have to pay higher prices for fertilizer, fuel and animal feed. (dpa)