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Spanish farmers dump out 400,000 liters of milk in protest over prices

Dairy farmers in Spain poured out around 400,000 liters of milk on Wednesday as part of a protest over decreasing prices.

The demonstration is taking place in Andalusia, following Lactalis — the world’s largest dairy products group — announcing a €0.09 ($0.10) per liter payment reduction.

The COAG (Spanish coordinator of farmers and livestock breeders) union has declared that farmers will continue to spill milk until they can negotiate fair prices with the French company.

Farmers argue that the price reduction is “unacceptable,” particularly in light of the Ukraine war driving up animal feed costs and Spain’s ongoing drought devastating pastures.

Separately on Wednesday, a Catalan dairy farmers union reported that it has officially accused three major dairy retailers of price fixing, filing a complaint with Spain’s market watchdog.

“Due to their overwhelming market control, if I don’t accept the price they offer for my milk, I can’t sell it to nearly anyone else,” said union leader Marc Xifra.

Xifra further explained that in recent years, farmers have been forced to sell their products at or below production costs.

Consequently, the number of registered dairy farmers in Catalonia has decreased from 507 in 2017 to 380 today.

While farmers have faced stagnant prices per liter for years, consumers are grappling with soaring milk costs.

According to the latest inflation data, milk prices in Spain shot up by 31% between March 2022 and March 2023.

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