To the anger of German dairy farmers, two dairy cooperatives have made new price agreements with supermarket chain Aldi about lower butter prices. This means that Aldi breaks previous price agreements, before the annual official price negotiations are concluded.
A few weeks ago, Aldi-Nord proposed to significantly reduce the price of butter. Dissatisfied farmers then took to the streets and blocked some Aldi distribution centers. The strike ended with the promise of a joint search for a solution. The German dairy farmers thought that the cold was out of the blue for the time being.
Now Aldi Nord has agreed a 56 cents lower price of butter with two dairies. The price of butter is rising all over the world, but Aldi sells butter at dumped prices, it is now reproached. This not only annoys farmers but also other German dairies.
A spokesman for the German peasant and rural movement accuses Aldi of breaking his word. “The low butter prices that Aldi negotiated with some dairy farms hit the dairy farmers in the face,” says Uta von Schmidt-Kühl.
These disaffected German farmers have organized large demonstrations and blockades in recent weeks, even receiving support from Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner. She also believes that supermarkets should stop stunting food prices and that stores should put more Dúits food on their shelves.
In a response, Aldi says that it is very common for the demand for butter, cheese and dairy to decline after the Christmas and New Year holidays, and that prices fall with less demand. Aldi also plays the ball back by pointing out to the dairy farmers that they know the end-of-year fluctuation, but nevertheless continue to supply a lot of milk.
This may be the point where politics must intervene in the free market economy. “To find solutions, all market partners have to sit at one table. We need long-term strategies, ”said a German state minister.
A video conference with farmers, dairy processors, traders and supermarkets was actually already planned for January 13. The farmers will not let that pass by, announced LSV spokesman Lee. Next time we should apparently not block the warehouses for two days, but for two weeks, it was said.
In the Netherlands, supermarkets and purchasing organizations no longer seem to be able to avoid it. On Thursday, January 14, the agricultural organizations in the Netherlands will meet the supermarkets on the initiative to discuss the growing dissatisfaction among farmers and market gardeners. For many years, they have been hiccups at the force majeure position of buyers.
A study by the Netherlands Court of Audit in 2019 shows that a third to half of farmers live below the poverty line. The situation is similar in other European countries. There too, the pressure from farmers on supermarkets is increasing.