Rutte visiting farmer: ‘Good representation of farmers at the table tomorrow’


fact that a large number of peasant organizations will not join the consultation with the cabinet tomorrow is a pity, but does not make the conversation pointless, says Prime Minister Rutte. โ€œI think there will be a good representation of the agricultural sector at the table tomorrow,โ€ he says.

According to the Prime Minister, the activist farmers of organizations such as Agractie and Farmer Defence Force (FDF) are still present through trade association LTO Nederland. โ€œThe fact that LTO also speaks on behalf of those other organizations is important.โ€

Rutte said that after a working visit to Koudum in Friesland, where he visited a dairy farm. The visit was not announced in advance. The Prime Minister was mainly informed about the innovative way in which the company operates. He did not argue with the owners about the nitrogen policy, which many farmers are hoping for. Rutte has recently visited farms twice before.

No taboos

LTO Nederland decided to join the nitrogen consultation led by Johan Remkes, after a call from Rutte with chairman Van der Tak. Last night, the other organizations and action groups decided to stick to their refusal. However, LTO Netherlands will convey a message to the cabinet on their behalf. As a result, according to Rutte, there will be a full-fledged conversation tomorrow.

Rutte does not want to anticipate that conversation, so as not to thwart the negotiations. He thinks that there will be a fist on the table because there is a lot of anger, but also hopes to get to the content. He confirmed that there are no taboos as far as the cabinet is concerned, but he did not want to explain exactly what that means.

Sources in The Hague say that the nitrogen goals are standing, but that the conversation could be about how those goals can be achieved and at what time. In the coalition agreement, it was agreed that 2030 is the deadline. If that border is stretched, the coalition parties must first agree on this. But that hasnt happened so far.

Forerunner in sustainability

The dairy farm of the Stokman family where Rutte visited this afternoon calls itself โ€œa forerunner in the field of sustainabilityโ€. To reduce ammonia emissions, manure and urine are separated and converted into biogas in a digester.

According to the companys site, the release of methane from the cow stomach is measured every quarter of an hour. To a certain extent, the cows can choose for themselves when they are milked and they have access to an outdoor pool, a so-called Yakuzie.

Nevertheless, there are also many concerns on this exemplary farm about the nitrogen plans, which should lead to a sharp reduction in the number of farms in many parts of the Netherlands. Rutte said that he has not been able to address those concerns. โ€œThose concerns are so great, they dont go away after a conversation.โ€

Tomorrow morning, a delegation from the cabinet will consult with a number of peasant organizations, led by Johan Remkes. The most activist farmers have no confidence in the conversations and in the interlocutor.

However, they agreed last night that they will be represented by LTO Netherlands, who will convey their message to Rutte and ministers Van der Wal (Nitrogen), Staghouwer (Agriculture) and Harbers (Water Quality).