German farmers rally against plunging dairy prices



Hundreds of German milk farmers have staged a protest in Munich against the government’s economic policies, which they say, are behind plunging dairy prices.

The protest, organized by the Bundesverband Deutscher Milchviehhalter BDM (the Federal Association of German Dairy Farmers), took place outside the Bavarian State Chancellery in central Munich on Monday.

The demonstrators blamed the policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union for plummeting milk prices both in Germany and across the continent.

The demonstrators also called for greater governmental regulation on milk and other products.

In March, European farmers staged a protest against what they see as the EU’s liberalization of the dairy market outside the offices of a political party in Brussels, where EU agriculture ministers were discussing the slide in dairy prices.

They say falling daily prices have led to a situation, in which regional farmers are not able to cover production costs.

Falling prices for agricultural products have been partially attributed to recent changes in the market caused by EU sanctions placed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Moscow has also responded to the bans by banning EU imports.

In 2013, Russia imported €6.1 billion ($6.7 billion) of meat products in total. The largest suppliers came from now-banned countries like Denmark (6.6% of total Russian meat products) and Germany (6.4%).

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