Reading time: 2 minutes

European countries have been swept by massive farmers’ protests. Though often a reaction to specific national policies (proposals to scrap tax breaks for agricultural diesel, proposed reductions in nitrogen emissions, etc), the common thread uniting the protests was the farmers’ opposition to the growing economic and bureaucratic burdens associated with the European Union’s climate and environmental agenda – first and foremost, the European Green Deal. Farmers have good reasons to oppose these policies, which risk decimating small and mid-sized farms while achieving little, if anything, in terms of climate and/or environmental benefits.

However, it’s important for the public to understand – and for farmers to explain, to maintain public support – the wider context of these protests. An uninformed observer might think that European farmers were doing fine until the EU’s ‘green’ agenda came along to ruin the party – or worse, that farmers oppose these policies on ideological grounds. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that small and mid-sized farmers have been struggling for years with rising costs, over-regulation, unfair competition and the practices of corporate cartels along the entire supply chain. Farms have been disappearing at an alarming rate across the EU.

This report explains how EU policies have systematically strangled food production in Europe, and makes the case for a renewed focus on food security.

Thomas Fazi, Author, researcher and journalist