Dutch farmers block supermarket warehouses — Analysis
The government’s initiative to slash the emissions of pollutants led to the protests, local media reports
Dutch farmers have shut off access to supermarket distribution centers to protest the government’s green reforms, a move that would hit the nation’s agricultural sector, local media reported on Monday.
Nederlandse Omroep Steichting (NOS) reports that protesters blocked many warehouses in several cities across the country including those of Heerenveen and Raalte. This has meant that food trucks can’t use many distribution centers.
The Central Bureau of Food Trade (CBL), the Dutch supermarket organization, said it would be “completely unacceptable”If the blockade continues to drag on. “We have called the judicial authorities and the police to take care of the situation,” the organization’s director, Marc Jansen, said.
CBL has urged authorities to take additional steps against protestors. “We must be able to address this misconduct,”Jansen stated that supermarkets weren’t involved in the dispute.
If protesters with trucks and tractor don’t stop the blockade, they will face food shortages, affecting bread, fruits, vegetables, milk, and other products.
“Some distribution centers also supply hospitals, care centers and other vital services,” Jansen said.
Dutch police were faced with large-scale protests and advised citizens to stay at home on Sunday.
Dutch farmers are upset over the government’s push to slash the emissions of pollutants, including nitrogen oxide and ammonia, by 50% by 2030. Concern is caused by the fact that fertilizers are high in nitrogen oxide and livestock secrete ammonia into their urine and feces.
The agricultural sector would be hardest hit by the green reforms. Farmers will have to cut back on livestock and cease operation altogether. Many fear the ruling coalition’s reforms will simply put them out of business.
The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that farmers had the right to protest in June but that they should follow law.
“It is not acceptable to create dangerous situations, it is not acceptable to intimidate officials, we will never accept that,”He stated.
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