The Farmer’s Defence Force (FDF) has made its code of conduct known
Translated by Thomas Ansell
No violence, no vandalism, no alcohol; and no blockades- the FDF published its ‘code of conduct’ on the weekend- and supermarkets can breathe easy for the moment. On Wednesday last week, they were threatened with blockade in the run up to the christmas season. As reported in the Leeuwarder Courant.
“The protests fall inside legal frameworks”, said Eric van der Groot, of Rotshuizen Geense lawyers in Leeuwarden. He will be accompanying the FDF to Lelystad on Monday, where they have had legal action taken against them by the Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelen (CBL), a sub-branch of the national supermarket group. Van der Groot says that he will explicitly include the FDF’s new code of conduct in his plea, but made no further comment.
“This also gives you an answer as to whether blockades will happen”, said the lawyer. “And it will also show whether the fears of the CBL are grounded. I can’t say more because it is not correct to do so.” Earlier on, the FDF made is known that the protests will be quite firm, but all within the confines of the law.
“What we do on Wednesday, remains a surprise”, said Jitty van der Werf, from Hitzum, who is a leader of the FDF. She also gave a little more clarity than the groups lawyer, with regards to blockades: “We have never said that we would blockade distribution centres, or supermarkets. That’s the press. We don’t call for it either. We have clearly stated it in our code of conduct and we assume that participating farmers will listen to the code.”
Van der Werf is fairly certain that 1,000 farmers in Friesland will take part in the protests: “around 1,500 farmers have signed up, but I think it will be a little less than that.”
Farmers are protesting against the Dutch government’s new regulations on nitrogen emissions in soil, and new PFAS-regulations (another group of pollutants). Alternative plans submitted by the farmers themselves were rejected. Today will see a collection of farmer’s rights groups under the name “Landbouw Collectief” hold a consultation with Mark Rutte, and the minister for agriculture, Carola Schouten.
The FDF itself has come together to bring a protest dumping dredging spoil in the car park of the Wetterskip Fryslân. They are protesting against a slight rise in the water tariffs planned in Friesland and the gemeente Westerkwatier in Groningen. The tarrifs will rise 13 percent- making them 800 euros per year more expensive for farmers.