Today, Johan Remix is speaking with representatives of companies and banks in an attempt to restore the broken trust between farms and the Cabinet. But specifically, companies with a turnover of billions of dollars and a significant influence in the agricultural industry have the call repelled.
On behalf of the Cabinet, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ministers Sigrid Kaag (Finance), Christian van der Waal (Nature and Nitrogen) and Henk Stagware (Agriculture) will attend.
Dairy giant Royal A-Ware (sales volume in 2021: €2.2 billion) and feed company Royal De Heus (sales volume in 2021: 1.38 billion) first want the government to adjust nitrogen targets (half fewer emissions by 2030) . Only then can we talk.
This opportunity seems small. The government is always told that nothing will change about these goals. Ministers repeatedly stress that talks with RIMEX are not negotiations in any case.
Its slaughterhouse Fillon (Volume 2021: €4.6 billion) and a representative of the Dutch Animal Feed Industry Association (Nevidi) declined the invitation. They want the cabinet to reach an agreement with the farmers first.
This road still seems long. After an initial conversation between farmers’ organizations and the Cabinet, Remix concluded that there was a “serious crisis of confidence”. That came as a surprise to the few after weeks of serious farmers protests over dissatisfaction with nitrogen policy.
These organizations have a strong Finger in the pie in peasant protests. And since they are not joining the talks, it will be more complicated for the Cabinet to restore confidence.
A remix of “nice words” is often heard
The abolition of the Central Food Trade Bureau (CBL), a single umbrella organization, is also a bad thing for the Cabinet.
Supermarkets play an important role in government plans. Together with banks, suppliers and the processing industry, they are expected to make a “non-binding contribution” towards strengthening the farmer’s position in the chain. This is stated in the alliance agreement between VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie.
Alliance parties want to know from supermarkets how they will make their entire collection “clearly sustainable and animal friendly.” “Including sustainable buying behavior and a fair price for farmers.”
It is not yet clear exactly what this non-binding contribution from banks and companies will look like. “If the supermarkets are making their money and the farmers are doing so little, you may have to switch to a different distribution where everyone is responsible,” Ruti said of this before the summer holidays.
In any case, the House wants banks and companies to pay a “significant share” of the nitrogen crisis.
On Wednesday, he said Remix believes the supermarket industry is shirking its responsibility. “I often hear very nice words about corporate social responsibility. But this position does not reflect that.”
Banks are represented by ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos and the Dutch Banking Association. The conference will also be attended by the Dutch Transport and Logistics Authority, Bionext, BO Akkerbouw and Plukon Food Group.
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