Ten-hour talks between French dairy farmers and processors end in deadlock

Mediation talks between Europe’s largest dairy group Lactalis and French milk producers over milk price ended in deadlock last night.

French dairy farmers demanded a significant milk price rise however after 10 hours of negotiations between farmer union leaders, the processor and the French farm minister’s mediator the talks ended with no resolution.

Family-owned Lactalis agreed on Tuesday to renegotiate the price paid to its suppliers after some 400 French dairy farmers blockaded the roads around a Lactalis plant in Laval in protest against low milk prices.

The farmers took over the roundabout in front of Lactalis and brought cows and tractors to the demonstration.

It has been reported that the French Farmers Union FNSEA has asked its members to protest for the whole week outside Lactalis.

The protesting farmers are also reported to have re-baptised the roundabout outside Lactalis, calling it the “roundabout of milk disgrace”.

Following the failure of the mediation between Lactalis and producers on the milk price, the Minister for Agriculture in France has called for the resumption of negotiations and has asked all stakeholders to demonstrate a spirit of responsibility.

“The price paid to producers by Lactalis, the world leader on the market can’t remain the lowest in the market, a step is essential.”

The Minister noted the declarations this morning Lactalis and invites everyone to resume as soon as the negotiations.

The Minister thanked the mediator of trade relations of efforts to find a point of consensus and praised the quality of his work. He asks her to pursue with determination its mission.

In June, raw milk prices paid to producers in France stood at 27.70 euros per 100kg in France, compared to 23.22 euros/100 kg in top producer Germany, 25.12 euros/100 kg in the UK and 25.00 euros/100 kg in the Netherlands, European Commission data showed.