The French government has been trying to defuse the week-long protests by farmers over the collapsing prices of agriculture including cereals, milk and vegetables.

The depression of prices is partly due to EU agriculture ministers, who have come under pressure from the French government to ease Russian trade sanctions and to remove excess meat and dairy products off the European market.

Yet French farmers have continued to carry out the demonstrations across the country, demanding government action to strengthen price rates; from using their tractors to block traffic to burning egg boxes and hurling wellies at buildings. On 19 February, some 100 farmers called by the FDSEA and Young farmers unions in Nimes, southern France stormed a local supermarket, filling their trolleys with of foreign products to verify their origins and express their anger at falling prices.

President of France's farmer's union group FNSEA, Xavier Beulin, spoke with Prime Minister Manuel Valls to try and resolve the crisis of livestock farming, with
France saying it will cut social security taxes paid by farmers, a measure worth €500m ($556m, £350m), to help ease financial pressure on them wrought by persistently low dairy and meat prices.

French farmers
Farmers listen to protest leaders as they block the road access to Rennes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers with tractors burn bales of hay block at the access to a hypermarket in the Toulouse area, in Roques-sur-Garonne, as they protest against falling prices of dairy and meat productsEric Cabanis/ AFP
French farmers
Xavier Beulin, President of France's farmer's union group FNSEA, speaks to journalists after a news conference in Paris, FranceCharles Platiau/ Reuters
French farmers
A French farmer throws a boot over the gate of the prefecture of Indre, in Chateauroux, central FranceGuillaume Souvant/ AFP
French farmers
President of FDSEA a french farmer union, Herve Coupeau give instructions as farmers start to block the prefecture of Indre in Chateauroux, central FranceGuillaume Souvant/ AFP
French farmers
A protester holds an European Union flag among shredded egg boxes which farmers have been sprayed in front of the Ile de France headquarters of the ASP (Agence de services et de paiement - Services and payment Agency) in Montreuil, outside ParisThomas Samson/ AFP
French farmers
French farmers fill a grocery caddie with foreign products during a protest action in a supermarket of Nimes, southern FranceSylvain Thomas/ AFP
French farmers
French farmers check the origin of meat products at a butchery stall during a protest action in a supermarket of Nimes, southern FranceSylvain Thomas/ AFP
French farmers
A picture shows a placard reading 'Every day I fill the can, Leclerc and its friends pick up the cash, egough! Le Foll, pick up your pants in front of: Europe, Lacatalis, Bigard, Leclerc, etc!!' as French farmers use tractors to block the ring road of Rennes, western FranceJean-Francois Monier/ AFP
French farmers
French farmers gather to listen to a union leader speech as they block the ring road of Rennes with their tractors during a demonstration against the falling prices of their productsJean-Francois Monier/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers stand near a fire as they face riot policemen near the prefecture of Rennes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
French farmers block the ring road of Rennes with their tractors, during a demonstration against the falling prices of their productsJean-Francois Monier/ AFP
French farmers
A riot policeman addresses protesters with a megaphone near the prefecture of Rennes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers use tractors to block the road access to Rennes, western France during a protest against the falling prices of dairy and meat productsJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers from the French farmers unions burn piles of tyres in Vendenheim, eastern FrancePatrick Hertzog/ AFP
French farmers
Xavier Beulin, President of France's farmer's union group FNSEA, attends a news conference in Paris, FranceCharles Platiau/ Reuters
French farmers
French farmers burn tyres as they block the ring road of Rennes with their tractors during a demonstration against the falling prices of their productsJean-Francois Monier/ AFP
French farmers
French farmers leave manure on a highway, during a blockade on the ring road at the entrance of the city of CaenCharly Triballeau/ AFP
French farmers
French livestock farmers gather in Rennes as they demonstrate with their tractors to protest falling prices, western FranceStephane Mahe/ Reuters
French farmers
A fire burns as French farmers use tractors to block the ring road at the entrance of the city of Caen, northwestern FranceCharly Triballeau/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers demonstrate in front of the Ile de France headquarters of the ASP in Montreuil, outside ParisThomas Samson/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers install a barricade in front of burning tyres as they demonstrate near the Ile de France headquarters of the ASP in Montreuil, outside ParisThomas Samson/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers walk near a fire set to block the RN 165 motorway to Vannes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
A farmer pushes a haystack near the RN 165 motorway to block the road access to Vannes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers throw eggs at the Laval prefecture during a protest by farmers against the falling prices of agricultural products in Laval, north-western FranceJean-Francois Monier/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers download rubble on the RN 165 motorway to block the road access to Vannes, western FranceJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP
French farmers
Farmers stand near a fire on the RN 165 motorway to block the road access to Vannes, during a protest against the falling prices of dairy and meat productsJean-Sebastien Evrard/ AFP