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French farmers blockade Caen over meat prices

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Farmers protest at Saint-Brieuc in Brittany on 2 July 2015 AFP

French farmers blocked access to the Normandy town of Caen on Monday in ongoing protests at prices of pork and beef, which they say are so low that they are losing money. Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll failed to satisfy them with a promise to meet them later in the week.


Leaders of the protest refused to move the tractors blocking exits of the Caen ringroad on Monday morning and carried on preventing cars leaving or entering the town and lorries gaining access to the port.

Le Foll has promised to meet them on Thursday, by which time he will have received a report from a mediator he appointed earlier.

That was not good enough for the protesting farmers, who wanted the minister to come to see them right away.

Over the weekend farmers in Brittany and Normandy dumped agricultural waste in front of slaughterhouses, supermarkets and other institutions they blame for their situation.

Last month a meeting of farmers, the food-processing industry and retailers agreed that meat prices would rise by five centimes per week.

But it they have only risen seven centimes in a month, according to the agriculture ministry.

The supermarkets say they have kept their part of the deal and are now losing 1.5 per cent on fresh meat sales.

The farmers don't seem to believe that

And they accuse retailers and restaurants of buying some of their meat abroad.