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Global Ag View: Farmer protests in Europe grind cities to a halt

Protests across several major European cities have brought roads to a standstill, as farmers made clear their objections to a range of issues.

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Global Ag View: Farmer protests in Europe grind cities to a halt

French farmers were the last to take to the streets, with an almost 1,000-strong convoy of tractors clogging two lanes of the highway circling Paris last Wednesday (November 27).

 

National reports suggested some protestors were planning to camp in tents and light fires on the ring road until French president Emmanuel Macron agreed to meet them.

 

Similar protests were held in Berlin, Germany, last week, as tens of thousands of farmers with tractors protested against their Government’s new agricultural policy, falling food prices and increasing environmental regulation.

 

The protests led to convoys as long as 12 miles on some roads.

 

Brandenburg farmer Benjamin Meise told European media network Euractiv: “The demonstration is above all a sign that enough is enough.

 

“We, farmers, see more and more requirements and less and less money.”

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met leading agricultural organisations in a bid to alleviate concerns around plans to ban glyphosate by 2023.


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Farmers across Germany said they were also fed up with being positioned as ‘villains’ in the climate change debate, and told the national press they were ‘not willing to accept’ any changes to their sector without prior consultation.

 

Elsewhere, farmers in the Netherlands joined forces to protest against ‘unfair blame’ for nitrogen pollution.

 

In Dublin, farmers took to the streets for the same reasons, and demanded better prices for cattle.

 

Those taking part in the city’s earlier September protests said it was uneconomical for them to produce beef for the price they were receiving.

 

Outlining their issues in a letter to Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, farmers said they would be back on December 15 if no progress was made.

 

Other protests are planned for the coming weeks.

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