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A plan for the future from green farmers

About 7650 people, of which almost 900 organizations, support the Green Farmers Plan (Groenboerenplan). The Green Farmers Plan partners lobby together and participate in societal dialogues, for example about the so-called ‘top polluters’ (piekbelasters), which importantly feature in the current Dutch political debate on environmental imbalances in the Netherlands. Here, particularly pollution from nitrogen (stikstofproblematiek) is of national concern as a result of intensive agriculture and other industrial and building activities.

On the Green Farmers Plan web page one finds information about their recent activities. In February 2023, a start-up conference hosted at Utrecht University gathered about 350 invited participants (amongst whom the PI of the Food Citizens? project). Through a 10-point plan, the ‘green farmers’ sent out their manifesto about a positive future for Dutch organic farmers, based on natural systems and optimal water usage to build a circular economy, learning to live with climate change, and making society more nature-oriented (see the conference report).

This happened just before the Dutch ‘provincial elections’ rocked the political landscape in March, with the landslide victory of the pro-farmers party BBB (BoerBurgerBeweging) and, one could argue, contributed to the fall of the fourth and last Rutte government in the summer of 2023.

In the light of this dynamic political landscape, and in preparation of the upcoming political elections of November 2023, the ‘Green Farmers’ have been busy: partner Biohuis participated in the negotiations for the national Agricultural Agreement (Landbouwakkoord). In the light of its failure in June 2023, the Green Farmers have launched a video message proposing a ‘Food Agreement’ (Voedselakkoord) with organic, non gen-tech agriculture at its basis.

Green Farmers partner Caring Farmers is busy at the main table for negotiations around the Animal Husbandry Covenant (Convenant Dierwaardige Veehouderij).

While lobbying for better policy forms a fundamental part of the Green Farmers Plan, they also underline how consumers can make a big difference with their choices: for example buying exclusively organic, and preferably from a local farmer, or through a short-chain initiative such as a Community Supported Agriculture scheme.

Other popular initiatives include participating in cooperative schemes to create or join a land trust: such as Herenboeren, Land Van Ons, Aardpeerand Lenteland

Banner photo from Groenboerenland.

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