De actievoerende boeren hebben geïnvesteerd in duurzame en innovatieve stallen die ook het welzijn van de koeien hoog in het vaandel hebben staan. Ze dreigen door de aangekondigde fosfaatrechten extra in de knel te raken. Daar willen ze graag op verder vernieuwend uitkomen. Daarom hebben ze de actiegroep “Innovatief uit de Knel” opgericht.

Renate Timmermans sprak, eenmaal toegelaten in de bus, de volgende woorden uit:

Dear Ministers of Agriculture,

I have a dream,
I have a dream, that there comes a day you really start caring about us.

I have a dream,
I have a dream, that once you will realize how important farmers are for good, healthy and safe food.

I have a dream,
I have a dream, that soon you will get started to work on to regulate the market and give us a chance to survive. After all, the farmers are the basis of the national and rural economy.

My name is Renate, I am a farmer and I live together with my husband and family on the farm you see over there. It’s a brand-new cowfarm, just like our neighbour's, mister Lagendijk, the farm you just visited.

I represent about 1.000 dairy farmers in the Netherlands, who also built such a new stable, just like us.

At this moment we are facing 2 serious problems:

- We have NO MONEY and therefore NO FUTURE !!

In 2010 we decided to invest all our euros in sustainability, protection of the environment and good welfare for the cows. The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture encouraged us to do so, otherwise they wouldn’t give us permission to realize these new stables. They even gave us subventions and tax benefits to build these sustainable and innovative cowsheds.

We had just finished our life work, with an investment of 1.5 million euros, when mister Van Dam, the secretary for agriculture said: “I don’t give you the permission to keep more cows than you already had on July 2nd 2015.” Which means for us that we have to leave our new stable half-empty and therefore we cannot fullfill our financial obligations to the bank.

We have no money left to buy phosphate rights from other farmers to fill up our new stables with extra cows. There is no level playing field between the Netherlands en the rest of Europe. The last 6 months we have lost € 65.000,-.

Now we are on our way to discontinuation, execution and bankruptcy, that’s all what’s left for us. In the Netherlands 20% of the farmers are trying to survive this awful situation.

The very low prices of milk are effecting all of us as well. Even 60% of the dairy farmers can not pay their bills on time. This is just the beginning of worse times dawning ahead.

In name of all these hard-working farmers, especially the young ones, I ask you, please give them a future! Mister Van Dam, please do a better job on your homework for the new investors and take care of them. Don’t let it end in an economic and social disaster. You like innovations but don’t forget ethics en morality.

And for all the other ministers of Agriculture, please regulate the market, so we can earn some money to survive and ensure that we can continue to provide society with healthy and delicious food.

Wishing you a nice stay in Holland and enjoy your dinner. Thank you.

In Nieuwsuur kwam het boerenprotest kort aan de orde. Helaas voor de knelgroep bleef het aspect van de fosfaatrechten volledig onderbelicht in relatie tot de lage melkprijzen.
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