French farmers protest over falling incomes


French farmers will hold protests in front of public buildings and supermarkets across the country today as part of a campaign against falling farm incomes.

France's largest farm union, the FNSEA, called for the day of action ahead of a meeting with the agriculture ministry next week on farm revenues.

After prices for agricultural products like milk and grains soared last year, all farm prices have now fallen back. Farmers say they are now feeling the squeeze.

"We always foot the bill. When prices are too high, we're told it's all our fault, and when they fall, there is immediate pressure on manufacturers who pass this on straightaway to producers," FNSEA president Jean-Michel Lemetayer told Europe 1 radio.

The FNSEA recently called on the European Union to pay annual subsidies to French farms a month early, claiming this would save producers €20 million in interest on loans.