Willy Borsus Stands with Farmers: Demands Inclusion of Distributors and Fair Prices

Sarhan Basem
credit: lespecialiste

Brussels (Brussels Morning – February 3, 2024) Farmers, represented by Christian Son, insist on the presence of all major distribution companies at the upcoming meeting with agricultural unions and ministers. Son emphasizes the necessity of full attendance, stating, “If there is even one distributor missing, it will already be off to a bad start.” The farmers also advocate for fair prices for their produce, citing concerns over declining profitability in sectors such as milk and meat.

Can Farmers Secure Fair Prices?

Christian Son and fellow farmers call for a significant increase in the prices of agricultural products to ensure sustainability. Son highlights, “The general idea is to increase our prices by €1,” emphasizing the modest nature of the proposed raise given consumers’ annual consumption habits. Minister Willy Borsus responds to these demands by expressing his intention to introduce legislation akin to France’s Egalim law, aimed at establishing a minimum payment price for producers.

Addressing Concerns over Food Self-Sufficiency

Farmers express apprehensions regarding the food self-sufficiency of Wallonia and Europe, pointing to dwindling livestock numbers and challenges related to overproduction. They voice concerns about conflicting regulations that exacerbate the struggle to increase income amidst environmental pressures. Minister Borsus acknowledges the severity of these challenges, referring to the farmers’ insights as “enlightening” and indicating a need for comprehensive solutions.

The farmers also advocate for transparency towards consumers, proposing the inclusion of production and processing costs on product labels. Despite the seriousness of the issues discussed, the meeting remains cordial, with farmers seeking assurances for the upcoming talks. Minister Borsus pledges to address their concerns and visits a Lidl depot in Aye to engage with demonstrators further.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.