Angry French farmers sprayed cars with straw and blocked roads during further protests over low prices for their produce and cheap imports.
In the latest in a series of demonstrations, farmers blocked the A31 road in eastern France and pelted vehicles with straw.
Farmers used convoys of tractors and set fire to piles of tyres to block the highway in the eastern Moselle region on Tuesday (28 July).
Elsewhere in the region, farmers dumped tires at supermarkets and restaurants, including McDonald’s and Buffalo Grill.
Earlier this week, farmers blockaded main roads into France from Germany and Spain to stop lorries bringing food into the country.
The French government announced a €600m (£420m) aid package of tax breaks and loan guarantees for farmers.
But the measures have done little to appease farm leaders, who have called for real reforms to French agricultural policy.
Franck Sander, head of France’s main farming union, the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA), said the measures would do nothing to stop competition from cheap foreign food imports.
“The measures announced by the government are only about postponing contributions, but none of them deal with the competition distortions,” Mr Sander told reporters.
The French socialist government estimates that as many as 10% of cash-strapped farmers are facing bankruptcy.
According to French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll, about 20,000 farmers are struggling with financial problems and 12,000 could go out of business.
French farmers have been hit by lower demand for meat amid anaemic economic growth, the Russian import ban on Western foods following tensions over the Ukraine, a fall in demand from China and an end to EU milk quotas.
One French farming union worker, who did not want to be named, said: “Notably, dairy, beef and pork producers are in a really serious situation at the moment.
“The prices which they are being paid are too low to the extent that they can’t even cover their costs of production. Many are producing food at a loss.
“Over several months and weeks, farmers have been left is a dire economic situation which is on the verge of explosion.”
Struggling British farmers staged a French-style rolling road tractor protest on the A50 in Staffordshire last Friday (24 July).
Supermarket food price wars, oversupply of dairy products and low milk and lamb prices, in particular, have left many UK farmers teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Recently a local Indiana news station questioned the moral values of livestock showmen. The reporter’s intention was to shed light on State Fair winners who have chosen to use performance enhancers in the animals they exhibit, and in turn they have been disqualified and no longer allowed to show at The State Fair. Stating “there are serious questions about what happens behind the scenes” when “nobody is watching” and why consumers should know what’s going on because it could affect the food on their plate.
While performance enhancing is nothing new to the general public, they usually only see it within the sports world. Similar to the sports industry, the livestock industry is composed of a majority that does not use illegal substances to win. There are livestock enthusiasts who are safe with everything they put in their animals, whether someone is watching or not.
So, what does happen “behind the scenes” of livestock shows across America?
Well, just to name a few:
I can’t speak from experience when it comes to tears of joy when winning but I can vouch for everything else that happens behind the scenes. That’s what I love most about the livestock industry, whether we win or lose, we all have the same opportunity to learn life lessons and gain experiences that apply to other aspects of our lives. While no one is watching we learn to develop a work ethic, how to be responsible for something other than our selves, gain a motivation to win and learn to stay humble through it all with a good attitude.
Of the thousands of kids that raise livestock, only a small percentage win, and that is something to be proud of.
Out of the small percentage that wins, another very small percentage does so unfairly. But that small amount should not reflect what is truly happening behind the scenes in our industry. What embodies our industry is hard work, reliability, humbleness, persistency, and knowing that we belong to something much bigger than ourselves.
And that is something to be proud of.
Congrats Austin Rose
Reserve Champion Bought and Fed steer Webster County Fair 2015 !
Lot#18 on Lay Farms Show Calves 2014 Online Sale
Jesse James x Almost Famous
We had Champion Feeder Calf steer at the
Bremer County Open Beef & Feeder Calf Classic in Waverly, Iowa tonight.
This steer is an Unstoppable X Ali
Raised by us
Priced to sell please contact Kurt at 641-691-647
Thunder from Down Under x Milkman steer all ready for feeder calf show at Lenawee County Fair tomorrow.
Shown by Catlin Havelka-Nelson. Raised by Kenny n Sara Prinz. Sold by Prinz Cattle n Wiese Cattle. Sired by Unstoppable. 110 Fat steers shown today
Shawn Leifeste, son of Alan and Samantha Leifeste, is in ICU at Dell Children’s hospital in Austin, TX. Through what many of us would describe as a freak train of events, Shawn’s esphogaus and lungs have some challenges to say the least. Doctors and staff at the hospital are working to wean Shawn of breathing assitance devices and get his lung back in working order. This little guy has been a trooper through all and needs our continued prayers! Don’t forget to keep Mason, Landree and the rest of the family / friends in your prayers….. many are helping to keep things going with the kids and cattle at home.
As you can imagine, the medical bills and just everyday expenses will and have already begun to escalate. This Go Fund Me account is our way to support the Leifeste’s as they battle for Shawn’s recovery.
While Shawn has Samantha’s warm heart and Alan’s tenacity, we all know this is going to take time, love, prayers and money to get him back being healthy. Let’s help ease Alan and Samantha’s minds just in a small way by helping them with money for daily and medical expenses. Heck, it will be ok if they use the money for a cattle feed bill!
Reserve Champion Market Heifer 2015 Custer County Fair
Sired by Bodacious
Shown by Porter family
Raised and Sold by RB Angus and Show Cattle