Swedish Dairy Farmers Protest Outside Parliament

Monday morning hundreds of Swedish dairy farmers arrived in front of the parliament building in Stockholm to stage a protest and encourage the Swedish government to take steps to protect that country's dairy industry.

According to The Local, the farmers traveled from all over Sweden. Some rode tractors, which they said they had driven over 300 miles to convene in front of lawmakers.

The farmers said they were asking the government to take steps to protect Swedish dairy farmers, and that they specifically wanted to see more financial support for farmers and higher diesel tax refunds for agriculture companies.

"We dairy farmers are being wiped out. Taxes and laws mean that we simply can't compete on the same terms as others. This is about whether we want Swedish milk production or not. It's something the government has to think about now when they're planning the budget," said farmer Rikard Mikaels.

The farmers presented Sweden's Minister of Rural Affairs with a petition signed by 167,000 people urging the government to take steps in favor of the dairy industry.  

"The politicians need to realize that this is not just about the dairy farmers but also about what kind of food and what kind of Sweden we should have in the future," said Helena Jonsson, chairperson of the Federation of Swedish Farmers.