The leader of the Netherlands’ top farming lobby group said a first round of talks on Friday with a delegation led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the government’s targets to cut nitrogen emissions has delivered “too little at the moment” for thousands of farmers who are in uncertainty Life .
Emissions targets have sparked disruptive protests in recent weeks and Johan Remkes, a veteran political bridge builder who chaired Friday’s talks, acknowledged there was a “deep crisis of confidence” between the parties while describing the discussions as “extraordinary”. constructive”.
Further talks are planned to defuse the crisis. Rutte said the dialogue was “crucial” to restore trust.
Sjaak van der Tak, leader of the main farmer lobby group LTO, which represents around 30,000 farms in the Netherlands, said the government had softened in the talks but “too little at the moment”.
“The cabinet did not want to make any further concessions, the cabinet obviously needs more time to prepare for the next talks,” he said.
Two major activist farmers’ organizations demanding concessions from the government did not attend the talks in downtown Utrecht because they say they do not trust Remkes, a member of Rutte’s political party, but they were represented by LTO.
Farmers furious at the target of cutting nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030 have blocked supermarket distribution centers, parked tractors on highways and dumped rubbish, including manure and asbestos, on roads in recent weeks.
Rutte has criticized what he said are small groups of farmers who he says have endangered others with the nature of their protests. “Deliberately endangering others, damaging our infrastructure and threatening people who help clean up is beyond all bounds,” he wrote on Twitter last week.
Remkes said the crisis of confidence goes “deeper than the current nitrogen debate” and was caused in part by years of government agricultural policies and a feeling among farmers that their efforts to reduce emissions in recent years have not been recognised.
The government was forced to act after courts began blocking permits for infrastructure and housing projects in recent years because the country failed to meet its emissions targets.
The government has allocated an additional 24.3 billion euros ($25.6 billion) to fund farm reforms that are likely to force many farmers to drastically reduce or eliminate their livestock. The provincial authorities have been given a year to formulate emission reduction plans.
Agriculture is an important part of the Dutch economy. According to the LTO, there are almost 54,000 farms in the Netherlands with exports totaling 94.5 billion euros in 2019.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/farming-news/dutch-farmers-group-talks-with-govt-delivered-too-little-41896633.html Dutch farmers’ group: talks with the government yielded “too little”