Remember our conversation about the dropping prices of dairy and the effects on our small and organic farms? Well American dairy operations aren't the only ones taking a hit from the drop in prices. According to a New York Times article Monday, protesters gathered outside of the European Union headquarters in Brussels during an emergency meeting of the agriculture ministers. They spilled milk on the streets, threw eggs and brought tractors out to block traffic; all of behalf of dairy farmers, some who are now getting paid less than 75% the cost of production.
The issue is nothing if not complicated. Subsidies and government aid could help the farmers in the short run, but this might only prolong the problem, leaving us with a ineffective system that looks like our model for corn production. For certain, a decision needs to be made quickly regarding a plan going forward, so that the dairy industry can start effectively planning for the future. In the meantime, the Brussels police force may want to invest in some goggles.