Bulgarian Farmers Joining EU-Wide Protest over Prices

World » EU | September 7, 2015, Monday // 09:30
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Farmers Joining EU-Wide Protest over Prices A tractor is loaded with a plastic cow and a Belgian flag on a farm in Hombourg, Belgium on Sunday, September 6, 2015. Photo by Bulgarian News Agency/AP

Tens of Bulgarian farmers are to demonstrate in Brussels along with producers from Italy, France, Belgium and other European nations over dairy and meat prices on Monday.

The action is to coincide with an extraordinary session of the Agriculture Ministers from across the EU.

With the EU Commission expected to come up with a proposal to help the dairy sector whose revenues have dropped considerably due to weak Chinese demand, the ban on exports to Russia and some commercial practices of retail chains which prefer to support cheaper goods from bigger producers to local output.

Others attribute part of their financial strain to the Commission's decision earlier this year to scrap milk quotas.

Prices of lamb have also been going down in the past months, jeopardizing the livelihoods of some meat producers throughout the bloc.

Apart from the three countries organizing the demonstration, producers from a number of member states have been flocking in their tractors to the central area of Brussels and the Commission buildings.

Some 4000 farmers are expected to take part.

Though the Commission is yet to unveil its plan and has been refusing to disclose anything beforehand, Phil Hogan, who oversees Agriculture and Rural Development, has made clear that increasing what he believes are already hefty subsidies from the EU's budget would not be a step in the right direction.

Commissioner Hogan has hinted producers should look for new markets instead.

Bulgaria is among the countries where the dairy sector has been hard hit by the developments, running losses of up to EUR 51 M over the past months.

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Tags: protests, agriculture, dairy, meat, EU Commission, Phil Hogan
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