The European Commission is to examine the possibility of legislating contracts between dairy farmers and their customers.

Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has proposed a wide range of measures to address the worsening crisis in European dairy, including the establishment of a working group of experts to discuss a legal framework for contractual relations between farmers and customers. The measures would bring better balance to supply and demand, and safeguard fair competition, she said. The development of a European dairy futures market is also up for discussion.

The announcement comes as dairy farmers continue to stage demonstrations. Action took place in nine countries this week, including the burning of straw in Germany, a tractor demonstration in Austria, blockades of major routes in Italy and milk being poured away in the Benelux countries.