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Swedish dairy farmers in tractor blockade threat

14 Nov 2012, 07:45

Published: 14 Nov 2012 07:45 GMT+01:00

An agricultural turmoil is bubbling up in Sweden. During the last few months, there have been several reports of dairy farmers being forced to close down their farms due to the low price of milk and rising expenses.

Now, some of the farmers have had enough and are threatening to use their tractors to physically block Swedish diaries if the situation does not improve.

If the blockade becomes a reality, farmers would still milk their cows, but let the milk go to waste.

Stefan Gård, the president of lobbying organization Swedish Dairy Farmers (Svenska Mjölkbönder), explained that, at this point, the group does not back the threat to block the dairies.

“I fully understand why they are doing this. The situation is critical. You can’t leave a pot on the stove for too long before the top blows off,” he told the Local.

One of the enraged farmers is Anders Birgersson from Vikingstad, near Linköping in central Sweden.

“We need to raise the price of milk by 30 öre ($0.04) [per litre] to be able meet the market fair and square,” he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

The group hopes to bring together enough farmers for a demonstration at Jönköping, southern Sweden, to be able to put some weight into their threat to block all Swedish dairies.

On Thursday, Swedish Dairy Farmers plans to have a demonstration of its own in Stockholm.

During the demonstration the organization is going to hand over a document to Minister of Rural Affairs Eskil Erlandsson. The document will show the extent to which current laws and rules affect Swedish dairy farmers.

“At the moment, we are focusing on our own demonstration on Thursday. After that we don’t know what we will do,” Gård told The Local.

“The next step might be to join the blockade.”

Eric Johansson

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Your comments about this article

13:27 November 14, 2012 by Hisingen
Taking a leaf from the typical French farmers' attitude, and quite right too. It shopuld also take place over in the UK, where ARLA is also active. Also the supermarkets are doing their best to put dairy farmers out of business. A fair price for a 'pinta' is all the farmers want, but the Tesco's and ICA's of this world don't want to pay it. Yet there are very few of their managers who would want to be a dairy farmer with all that the work entails. They just want profit, profit, profit.
14:38 November 14, 2012 by skogsbo
Already happened in sept. They forced arla and 2 other producers, plus supermarkets to put the prices back up. UK had good pr , so public knew it was the producers and supermarkets who were or are the bad boys.
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