Dutch Farmers Block Supermarket Warehouses

Farmers in the Netherlands blocked supermarket distribution centers on Monday in protests against new environmental rules on nitrogen emissions that are likely to put 30 percent of livestock farms out of business. 

Farmers used large bales of hay and tractors to block entrances to supermarket distribution centers, with farmers calling for “the entire country to be paralyzed.” 

Shipping companies also said that in a show of support for the farmers, fishers blocked ports that prevented ferries from sailing to almost all of the Wadden Islands and caused lengthy delays. 

Reports claimed that measures to curb the ammonia generated by livestock farming are a significant part of government plans. 

According to government estimates, cutting the nitrogen emissions by more than 70 percent in areas close to nature conservation areas could lead to the shutting down of about 30 percent of livestock farms.  

Earlier, an intermediary was to lead talks between farmers’ organizations and officials to draw up measures to reduce pollution. 

However, Prime Minister Mark Rutte ruled out negotiating with farmers responsible for radical protests. 

According to LTO, a national farm lobbying group, there are 54,000 agricultural businesses in the Netherlands, with exports totaling 94.5 billion euros (about $99 million) in 2019. 


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