Belgian farmers block roads to protest prices paid them for milk, other produce

IndustriesAssociated Press

Belgian farmers are blocking roads and entrances to grocery store distribution centers to protest what they say are unfairly low prices for milk, pork and other products.

In one action, scores of tractors drove Thursday morning on the E40 highway to slow down traffic.

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Outside a butter factory in Goe, farmers dumped manure and set tires ablaze.

The protests, which extended from Dutch-speaking Flanders to French-speaking Hainault, follow similar actions by French farmers.

Lieven De Stoppeleire, a Belgian dairy, potato and grain farmer, said, "Everywhere in Europe the prices are too low, and that has to be stopped."

He said he is paid 26 euro cents (28 U.S. cents) for each liter of milk produced by his cows but needs 35 cents (38 U.S. cents) just to break even.