NAJK argues in Brussels for the introduction of a ‘young farmer test’ – Interview NAJK
Today 15:50 o’clock – Linda van Eekeres
Thirty young Dutch and Flemish farmers yesterday (Monday 26 September) with three triggers at the European Parliament to argue for the introduction of a ‘young farmers test’ on nature policy. Boerenbusiness spoke with Peter Meedendorp, international portfolio holder of the Dutch Agricultural Youth Contact (NAJK), who was present at the campaign.
What did you do in Brussels?
“In the afternoon we stood at the European Parliament; handed out cheese, sausage and coffee and we talked to MEPs and officials of the European Commission who came by. We told Flemish and Dutch MEPs – but also from Croatia and Austria – about the ‘young farming test’, including Rob Roos (formerly FvD now JA21) and Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP) and the Flemish Tom Vandenkdelaere.”
What is that young farmer’s test?
“A socio-economic test to see what policy does for business successors. In addition to beautiful nature measures, we have to look at the impact on young farmers. Only 15% of the farmers are under 35 and many companies no longer have a successor.”
You were together with the Groene Kring, the Flemish equivalent of the NAJK. In what way did you realize?
“The non-perspective. That they better earn their money differently, that there is a complete idleness. For us it feels like we are between hammer and anvil. We would like to make more sustainable, we want to make farms future-proof, but in the group where the blows fall in terms of costs of climate and environmental measures, so why not do something else.
Does that also apply to you personally?
“I also see it at home on our arable farm that I would like to take over, but that is close to nature. The focus is now on livestock farming, but the European Nature Restoration Act and the crop protection file will also play a role. “
What has the action brought you?
“I thought it was nice to see that MEPs have come from all political sides, from green to conservative. We are not anti-environmentalists either, we are the last ones to oppose sustainability. We have given our manifesto and they have accepted it all and also want to have further discussions.We will further shape this with the Green Circle.
Linda van Eekeres
Linda van Eekeres is co-writing editor-in-chief. She mainly focuses on macro-economic developments and the influence of politics on the agricultural sector.
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