December 5, 2023

Dutch farmers protesting government plans to curb emissions that could bring many businesses to a standstill continued to close supermarket distribution centers on Tuesday, leaving empty shelves in some supermarkets.

About a dozen distribution centers across the country were closed on Tuesday, with many supermarkets reporting empty shelves due to the inability to receive goods from distribution centers, with some estimating that the Monday and Tuesday closures had already caused tens of millions of euros in damage. .

A spokesperson for the Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel (CBL), a Dutch association representing the interests of supermarkets and food service companies, has claimed that tens of millions of euros are lost and that there is a risk that the product may spoil because it cannot be delivered, the newspaper de Volkskrant Reports.

Supermarket chains have also sounded alarms, with Coop saying it expects to lose millions in revenue, while Lidl claims about half of its stores are having problems filling their shelves, especially with fresh vegetables, meat and fruits.

While farmers ended some blockades on Tuesday, such as in Almere at the Liddell distribution center and in Raalte and Neckerk, a new one was imposed in Geldermalsen against a distribution center for the Albert Heijn chain.

Agriculture Minister Henk Stägauer and Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy Christian van der Waal expressed concern about the blockade but assured the Dutch public that food supplies were not in danger.

Minister Stagoire also claimed that food supplies would not be threatened by climate change policies that farmers are protesting, while farmers themselves claimed that a proposal to cut nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions by 50 percent by 2030 could destroy their livelihoods as some predict the government simply buy cattle farms and close it.

About 30 percent of the country’s livestock farms could be closed in order to cut nitrogen emissions by 70 percent in areas close to protection zones.

The protests have so far witnessed some clashes, as the police used tear gas and dogs to disperse some of the protests Several arrests On Monday outside the Lidl distribution center in Heerenveen.

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