Dutch farmers fight back
Gov’t plans to buy, shutter 3,000 farms
Farmers Forum staff
OTTAWA — Dutch farmers continue to push back hard against their national government and ongoing plans to put many of them out of business. Those farmers have picked up a lot of clout in their battle against nitrogen emission cuts and turned their country’s politics upside down ahead of national elections set for Nov. 22. However, many aren’t waiting for salvation at the ballot box and have given up on farming in the Netherlands at this point.
Eastern Ontario farm realtor Marcel Smellink, of Iroquois, says he’s seeing an increase in inquiries from Dutch farmers “But selling (their farms) over there is tough,” he said. “I don’t think there is any faith in the future for Dutch farmers, especially dairy farmers.”
The Dutch have plans to buy 3,000 farms to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Smellink said he was told the Dutch government has only purchased one farm so far.
It’s been an eventful 2023 for the farmers of Holland. In March, a three-year-old upstart political farmers-protest party shook the establishment by winning provincial elections. That electoral success followed months of protests by 40,000 farmers against a Dutch plan to cut farm nitrogen emissions 50 % by 2030.
In June, negotiations over farm environmental policy broke down between the government and farm leaders. In July, the governing Dutch coalition collapsed and long-time prime minister Mark Rutte — a WEF comrade of Justin Trudeau — resigned, triggering the upcoming Nov. 22 election. The leader of the farmers’ party — known as the Farmer-Citizen Party or ‘BBB’ — appeared to have a serious shot at becoming Rutte’s replacement in summer opinion polls but has since fallen somewhat behind.
The BBB remains an important player, however, and its key election planks include opting out of the European Union’s green agenda on nitrogen, and capping the number of asylum seekers allowed to remain in the country. Meanwhile, an even newer upstart centre-right party, which also generally supports a Dutch opt-out from EU programs, is tied at the top of the polls with the former prime minister’s party.
Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek last year told NTD News — affiliated with The Epoch Times — that farmers in her country have risen up against nothing less than communism. “It’s communism to the ‘T’ … If the state comes in and says I’m going to take away your property for a so-called greater good, I don’t know what could be more essential to communism than that.”
She asserted: “They want us to eat bugs. They want us to eat the fake meat they produce. It’s very clear this is not something that just the Dutch people will be subjected to, and that’s why we need your support from other countries.”