Page last updated at 21:28 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 22:28 UK

French farmers start milk talks


Farmers dump millions of litres of milk on fields

The French government has held emergency talks with farmers to avert protests over falling dairy prices.

On Friday, more than 1,000 farmers dumped millions of litres of milk in fields as a sign of protest.

They argue that dairy prices have fallen so low that they are selling their produce at half its cost.

The French government has offered substantial aid packages, and will hold more talks on the matter with insurers and banks to secure further support.

Milk producers argue that an EU plan to end production quotas will have a huge impact on profits, because boosting the supply on the market lowers prices further.

A BBC correspondent in Paris says striking dairy producers have been refusing to deliver milk and have been dumping the overflow in fields.

On Friday, a fleet of 300 tractors towing milk tanks, sprayed 3.5m litres of fresh milk near the tourist attraction of Mont Saint Michel, our correspondent adds.

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