EU farmers protest – level 3

15-09-2015 07:00

The warning from farmers is that Europe is drowning in milk. Plummeting milk prices have led farmers to protest on the streets of Brussels. Police said that 4,800 farmers and close to 1,500 tractors were at the demonstration. And these scenes seemed to have made a difference. EU Agricultural ministers announced a 500 million euro aid package focused on helping milk producers.

Russia is one of the EU’s main agricultural export markets worth some €5.5 billion annually. The Russian ban on imports of EU food products and the deregulation of the market hit dairy farmers this year. Changing dietary habits and slowing demand from China have also affected prices for dairy products.

The environment secretary Liz Truss planned to call for the creation of a dairy future’s market, similar to those for grain and sugar, which the government says will give the UK’s dairy farmers more certainty over future prices. Some farmers have called for milk production quotas to be reintroduced to avoid them having to sell at a loss.

Difficult words: plummet (to decrease rapidly), agricultural (relating to agriculture – the science and practice of farming), announce (to say something officiakky), aid (help), annually (every year), deregulation (the act of deregulating something – removing regulations), dietary (relating to a diet), quota (limitation).



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