Demonstrators call for more EU support to help farms protect biodiversity and the climate
Berlin, 18.1.20. 27.000 protesters of the Wir haben es satt!-movement (We are fed up!) – a broad platform of farmers and food, environment, and one-world activists – today demanded sweeping EU agricultural reforms to protect biodiversity and the climate and to support farms in this transition.
Demonstrators took the streets of Berlin, while representatives of agroindustry celebrated the opening of the biggest international agricultural fair – Grüne Woche (International Green Week).
“We are fed up with the excuses and delays our government is causing in reforming the farming sector,” says Saskia Richartz, the movement’s spokesperson. “The German government will take over the EU Council Presidency during the second half of 2020. It must stop looking after the interests of the German chemical and agro-industries and must back family farms across Europe in switching to sustainable farming practices. Instead of blanket payments allocated on a per hectare basis, the EU’s annual 60 billion Euros of agricultural subsidies should be used to fund the transition to climate and animal-friendly farming!”
The demonstration was led by hundreds of organic and conventional, small-scale farmers with their tractors. Many more farmers joined demonstrators from across Germany and 12 other European countries (ES, FR, PL, IT, AT, UK, BE, SE, RO, SK, LV, and CH). The movement for agricultural reform in Germany and Europe is growing in strength, in particular through cooperation across borders with the Good Food Good Farming campaign.
Elisabeth Fresen, a 29-year-old farmer from northwestern Germany participating in the protests, said “Farmers are way ahead of politics! We are implementing real solutions and alternative agricultural methods every day. Citizens and farmers must step up and join forces to call for an end to the loss of farm communities and nature. Farming policies that are fit for future generations must support fair incomes for farmers, animal welfare, protect insects and provide healthy food.”
Demonstrators also called for a veto of the unfair EU-Mercosur trade agreement. They demanded fair international trade and the implementation of peasant rights to protect the existence of small-scale farmers across the globe.
Wir haben es satt! is in its tenth year with tens of thousands of demonstrators. The movement promotes alternatives for a more ecological and community-based farming system.