Bubbling with farmers against agricultural policy

bubbling with farmers against agricultural policy

New environmental requirements, stricter manure rules – and cheap prices for meat, sausage and milk in supermarkets? A seething among germany’s farmers.

For several weeks now, protests have been forming across germany against the agricultural policy in berlin and against more and more demands and requirements that many farmers see only as "negative sentiment" against their profession. This tuesday, thousands of farmers will once again drive into the capital with tractors to vent their displeasure. At the brandenburg gate, agriculture minister julia klockner (CDU) wants to face the demonstrators. Politics switches more to "grief mode" for the villages.

The rally in berlin will be attended by around 10.000 participants expected, 2000 vehicles to roll in on a star-shaped route. In mid-november, there were already protests at the conference of environment ministers in hamburg; in october, farmers drove to several cities, 6000 to bonn alone. The "land schafft verbindung" initiative, in which tens of thousands of farmers have joined forces, has called for protests. State and district farmers’ associations were also involved and supported the actions, the german farmers’ association said. Secretary general bernhard krusken said about the rally in berlin: "the demo will show that there has to be a new start in the social dialogue."

Politicians want to take it up. "Never before has our agriculture been under so much pressure as it is today," said klockner on saturday at the CDU party conference in leipzig. But many burghers didn’t think about what their expectations of the industry meant in terms of extra costs. "Farmers are first and foremost food producers, not landscapers."She announced nationwide dialogue events for the new year, also with environmentalists and consumers, in order to "bring society and agriculture back together". Chancellor angela merkel (CDU) also wants to talk and invite associations to a kind of "agricultural summit. It is expected that on 2. December. There are a number of issues:

AGRICULTURAL PACKAGE: acute trouble has triggered plans that the cabinet launched at the beginning of september. The use of weed and pest poisons is to be severely restricted in order to protect insects, among other things. Consumers are to be given a new logo that identifies pork from better animal husbandry – if farmers join in voluntarily. More money will be reserved for environmental measures from the important EU agricultural payments to farms. "The agricultural package puts farms at risk," warn demo initiators. Farmer president joachim rukwied also railed against insect protection, saying that instead of cooperation, the focus was on requirements.

Manure rules: to better protect groundwater, farmers are to further restrict manure with gulle, among other things. Because brussel had sued germany for too high nitrate levels and was proven right by the european court of justice (eugh) in 2018. What worries farmers: requirements that were only changed in 2017 are now to be tightened again, otherwise germany could end up facing high EU fines. This threatens "undermining" of plants, farmers fear.

ROLE OF CONSUMERS: in the discussion, klockner emphasizes the influence consumers can exert to achieve greater environmental and animal protection. You have to be aware when shopping that every product you choose is an order, she argues. "If you want organic in the fields, you have to buy organic"."This also applies to more animal welfare. Additional costs due to barn conversions had to be rewarded to farmers by higher prices arriving at them. Many farmers are concerned about the tempting offers in supermarkets.

POLITICAL FIELD OF DISPUTE: the farmers’ protests are also moving up the agenda in the bundestag. In a debate, the opposition briefly took a shot at the union part of the coalition. For years, necessary adjustments in nature and animal protection were "postponed and explained away", said grunen agricultural politician friedrich ostendorff to dpa. The unfinished business had "built up into a rough wave that the farmers now feel overrun by." Left-wing expert kirsten tackmann said farmers are "losers in an absurd system" geared to cheap supplies of raw materials for the world agricultural market. Gero hocker (FDP) referred to already high standards. If the industry with further editions uberzogen, which took her the existence basis, farmers went rightly on the straben.

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