Dairy Demonstrations Get Out Of Hand At SPACE

EU - More than 2,000 farmers demonstrated during the opening of the French agricultural show SPACE.
calendar icon 20 September 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Most of the demonstrators were members of the following organisations; the European Milk Board (EMB), APLI (Association des producteurs de lait indépendants) and OPL (Organisation des producteurs de lait), but many visitors of the show who supported their cause, also joined in.

A delegation of milk producers, led by Romuald Schaber, president of European Milk Board, had asked the Minister for Agriculture to meet with them.

"This request was rejected which shows only too clearly that the policy-makers prefer to enhance the fierce competition amongst producers in Europe,” says Willem Smeenk, board member of the EMB. His colleague Anton Sidler added: “They try to distract us from the real causes of the milk crisis that us European producers have to endure. They claim that French milk producers are not capable of competing on the dairy market.”

When teargas was thrown into the crowd, several demonstrators, worn down my promises that were not kept and despair, turned against the stalls of certain organisations that they believed responsible for their troubles. The EMB and its member organisations (APLI and OPL) have always urged demonstrators not to harm other people and goods.

As it was obvious that tensions would arise at the SPACE, the French member organisations of the EMB warned the French minister for agriculture of the risks and called for a dialogue. Their appeal was apparently ignored.

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