Milk Producers to Stage Awareness Event on Freedom Square ({{commentsTotal}})

Free food is being given away in Tallinn on Wednesday, and unlike past giveaways, it's not a party's campaign stunt.

Milk producers are gathering on Freedom Square at noon to hand away about 1,000 liters of fresh milk, plus other dairy products.

It's part of a campaign to get people to drink more milk, mainly because the Estonian sector could be hit hard by abolition of quotas in the EU, right on the heels of Russia's one-year embargo against Western agricultural produce.

Roomet Sõrmus, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told ETV it wasn't a protest. "The situation is complicated not just for dairy but other agricultural sectors."

The markets for various kinds of produce have been declining since spring, and then came the Russian embargo on Western goods.

Up to now, the dairy sector has had a fairly high net margin of 25 percent in some recent years, although the last significant crisis was just five years ago.

The number of milk producers is down to 700-800 from 2,000 since Estonia joined the EU, said Sõrmus.