Lactalis: dairy farmers gather in front of the factory of Craon

Lactalis: des producteurs laitiers rassemblés devant l'usine de Craon

Forty farmers gathered Friday in front of the factory Lactalis of Craon (Mayenne), which produced batches of baby milk contaminated with salmonella, to ensure that “the milk producers do not pay the invoice to the health crisis”, noted a journalist of AFP.

Gathered at the call of the departmental Federation of the trade unions of farmers (FDSEA) and the union of Young farmers (JA) of the Mayenne, the dairy farmers have deployed in front of the factory Célia of Lactalis banner “the construction of The price. From words to action”.

A tractor has also been posted in front of the gates of the site mayenne, which is routed, in normal times, the milk of some 650 producers.

“What is important today with this gathering, it is to reassure the farmers and to have an explanation with the group Lactalis on the price of milk,” said Philippe Jéhan, president of the FDSEA Mayenne.

“We have concerns because we are in a period of commercial negotiations with supermarkets and the price of milk can be affected to term because the image of the Lactalis group and its brands is altered”, he added.

For Jeremy Trémeau, head of JA Mayenne, “this is not up to the producers to pay the difference”. It requires greater “transparency” on the matter and is pleased to have been received, with Mr Jéhan, by the director of the factory of Craon. “Lactalis has adopted the law of silence,” he said.

“We provide a guarantee on the continuity of the pick up operations,” said Serge Moly, director supply milk of Lactalis group, after the meeting between trade unions and agricultural management. “We are committed to maintain a perfect sealing between our management in the price of milk and the situation that we know to Craon.”

Thirty-seven babies have been diagnosed with salmonellosis in France after having consumed a product of infant feeding Lactalis infected, according to a balance sheet as at 11 January.

Lactalis has been criticised for having a lack of transparency and slow to respond after the detection of salmonella in its plant of Craon, in self-assessments made in August and November. This contamination, which concerned only the environment of the site, and not the products, has not been revealed to the public in early December.

It is then the recall of batches of baby milk in three stages in December who has sown the discord. The withdrawal is otherwise found incomplete, some distributors had continued to sell products that are potentially contaminated for several weeks.