Netherlands: Farmers block access to food warehouses

According to LTO, in the Netherlands there are almost 54,000 agricultural businesses, whose exports amounted to 94,500 million euros in 2019.

About 25 tractors used to block a distribution center for the Albert Heijn supermarket chain in the town of Zaandam, north of Amsterdam, Monday, July 4, 2022.

Dutch farmers and ranchers upset with the government’s plans to cut polluting emissions used trucks and tractors Monday to block supermarket distribution centers, a new move in a summer of protests in the country’s lucrative agricultural sector.

Schiphol Airport, the country’s busiest aviation hub, urged travelers to use public transport to reach its terminals for fear that airport blockades could also occur.

Groups of fishermen also blocked several ports as a gesture of solidarity.

The unrest among Dutch farmers and ranchers was due to a government proposal to cut emissions of polluting gases such as nitrogen oxide and ammonia by 50% by 2030.

Provincial governments have been given a one-year deadline to draw up plans to achieve the goal.

That is expected to reduce livestock heads and affect farms whose animals produce a lot of ammonia.

The farmers allege that they have been singled out unfairly and with little concern about their future.

Police were monitoring but did not initially intervene on Monday as about 25 tractors parked outside a distribution center of the Albert Heijn supermarket chain in the town of Zaandam, north of Amsterdam.