Tree with green leaves and orange mandarin fruits

Portuguese farmers follow French and Spanish counterparts and announce protests “for better incomes”

The farmers’ protests that have spread to various parts of Europe, with particular expression in France in recent days, will soon also be taking to the streets in Portugal. The National Farmers’ Confederation (CNA) announced on Tuesday that it will be holding several protests.

In a statement, the CNA explains that “it will be promoting protest initiatives to improve farmers’ incomes”, after the national board and council met to analyze the situation of these professionals in Portugal, and following the cuts in CAP aid announced last week. However, no dates have yet been set for the protests.

“As the CNA has said before, all these cuts – the ones now known, which are added to others already planned – are the result of bad choices by the Ministry of Agriculture in the programming of the PEPAC, they are not a problem of targets or indicators, they do not happen by chance or incompetence, but by a deliberate choice that the CNA has contested many times. They are the offspring of the CAP Reform approved in the European Union, at the service of big agribusiness interests,” the organization said.

Recalling that the farmers’ protests all over Europe have different realities, the CNA highlights a common point among all of them (and which also motivates the announced protests): “farmers’ income, the money that is left at the end of the campaign so that farmers can survive”, the “financial asphyxiation”, aggravated by the “‘dictatorship’ of large-scale distribution”.

“Since the EEC entered Portugal, 52% of farms have been eliminated, most of them small and medium-sized, and currently more than 100,000 receive no aid at all. Farmers, who have been decapitalized for a long time, are fed up, and the cuts in aid that have now taken place are the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” continues the CNA.

A series of actions are planned, such as “meetings, farmers’ gatherings, slow marches and demonstrations”, with a view to drawing up a “list of complaints, with concrete measures that a new government can implement”.

As part of the protests, the CNA is launching demands along three different lines:

Improving farmers’ incomes

    Fair prices for production, with a ban on paying farmers below the cost of production;
    Product outlets with incentives for short production circuits;
    Market regulation (including inputs) with measures to protect farmers and consumers;
    An end to "free trade treaties" and unfair competition from international agribusiness with products from third countries that do not have to comply with the same social and environmental rules;
    The implementation of the Family Farming Statute.

Changing PEPAC (the program for implementing the Common Agricultural Policy in Portugal)

Greater fairness in the distribution of aid, definition of maximum limits per farm, reversal of aid cuts for small and medium-sized farmers
small and medium-sized farmers;
Allocate aid only to those who produce;
Redefining environmental measures, highlighting the fundamental role of family farming, particularly polyculture, in protecting the environment;
Simplification of the program and its measures;
Valuing the production practiced in the wastelands with an urgent review of the coefficient for reducing these areas.

In the immediate future, the Ministry of Agriculture must guarantee that farmers, in the same circumstances as last year, and up to a maximum of €25,000 in aid, are not harmed by the government’s choices, even if this means having to resort to extraordinary national measures.

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