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Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Minister Staguerre believes supermarkets “certainly have a role to play” in the nitrogen crisis. This is what the minister said after questions from Zambala. Today, farmers are demonstrating in various supermarket distribution centers. The Central Food Bureau called on farmers to lift the blockade. supermarkets “Don’t be a party to the nitrogen conflict.”
Minister Stagoire will speak with the supermarket sector today: “I want supermarkets to have concrete agreements with suppliers and farmers about, for example, making the scale more sustainable. Another way to help farmers become more sustainable is to better distribute margins and risks and be transparent about that “.
The minister wants to see results within six months: “If within 6 months it appears that actions in practice are not producing sufficient results, that the situation of the farms has not improved and that sustainability efforts are lagging, I will proceed to publish binding legal instruments, including legal requirements” .
The power of supermarkets
Supermarkets have a huge position of power in the current food system. Zembla’s research shows that supermarkets are actively resisting the House’s call for an annual report on what they’re doing to make the food chain more sustainable. It also appears that supermarkets are unwilling to make firm agreements about paying farmers who produce more sustainably a higher price.
Most farmers earn hardly any money from food production. They are trapped in a system of rock bottom prices and increasingly higher yields per hectare. As a result, they are not sufficiently capable of becoming sustainable. Meanwhile, the soil is depleting due to the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Biodiversity is deteriorating at a rapid pace.
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