The anger of farmers has not subsided in Europe. Swiss farmers expressed their demands in the streets of Geneva with a procession of tractors for the first time since the start of peasant mobilization in Europe. The agricultural world is opposed to an agri-food system that does not take them sufficiently into account. The Greens are demanding that farmers are finally paid fairly and that full transparency be made on the margins of large distributors.
“The Greens stand in solidarity with the farmers who are demonstrating for better production prices and who denounce the “grow up or disappear” agricultural policy carried out in recent years,” underlines Sophie Michaud Gigon, VD national advisor. The hard and demanding work of land professionals must be fairly compensated.
“Instead of intensifying and becoming ever more industrialized, we must establish a sustainable agri-food economy, favoring healthy foods, from regional and environmentally friendly production, and fair prices,” explains Sophie Michaud Gigon. A sustainable agri-food economy means in particular that farmers must be able to make a living from the sale of their products. To do this, fair prices must be established. Furthermore, environmental and animal welfare standards in Switzerland must not be compromised by cheap imports, as Greens had called for in their “fair food” initiative.
Today, large groups take advantage of the high prices charged in supermarkets. The peasant world only receives a small part. The rest feeds the margins of large distributors and retail. So that such injustices can be corrected, the Greens call for total transparency in the formation of prices (For an effective observatory of prices in the agri-food sectors). The Economy Commission of the National Council has already approved this parliamentary initiative of the Greens. Its sister commission of the Council of States has all the cards in hand to sustainably improve the situation of farmers in Switzerland.
In eastern Europe, farmers’ anger was also heard. Thousands of farmers demonstrated in Latvia on Monday to demand a ban on imports of Russian grain and foodstuffs into the European Union. In Poland, an agricultural union has called for a general strike on Friday, February 9 with blockages at border points with Ukraine.
Polish farmers have been particularly vocal about the import of Ukrainian products into the European Union. This is a demand put forward by Bulgarian farmers, who are just as mobilized. This Tuesday, February 6, tractors blocked the main roads in Bulgaria.