Cover

“Europe deaf to farmers’ outcry,” headlines La Libre Belgique the day after the European Commission refused to lower dairy production quotas. Hard-hit by the ongoing crisis, farmers for months have been calling for quotas to be frozen, or even slashed, to stop prices’ plummeting. The Commission has proposed an aid package, but ruled out changing the tack set by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) “health check” in 2008.

To save the dairy sector we need to consume its produce, declared European agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, before castigating consumers for lapping up “Coca-Cola, which costs between €1 and €1.26 a litre” – a lot more than milk. “An argument […] that betrays a certain perplexity all the same,” opines the Belgian daily.