The manure became a symbol of French farmers’ anger. A fifth of dung, along with straw, used tires and other materials and waste, has been dumped in recent weeks to block the entrances of fast food restaurants as well as tax and social security offices. Some important road arteries were also closed. An extreme protest that took place in various provinces of the Alps and for various reasons. The latest incident took place on the night between Wednesday 29 November and Thursday 30 November in front of the offices of Mutualité Sociale Sociale (MSA) in Orthez in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques region.
On the 21st, the entrance to the financial office of Digne-les-Bains, capital of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, was literally blocked with manure. The next day more fertilizer was dumped in the center of Toulouse, causing thousands of euros in damage; Later, farmers also blocked the highway by driving their tractors at a snail’s pace. However, on November 24, some restaurants in the Mc Donald’s and Burger King chains were targeted.
Similar protests were held elsewhere in the country. So why are farmers protesting like this?
The main protest is against the government, excessive bureaucracy and slowness in distributing community funds to farmers. It is mostly young people who come from rural areas to express their general discontent with the management, which is accused of not respecting their work. Farmers expressed their disappointment with the end of the tax exemption for diesel, the lack of visibility of organic farming and the direction taken by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, or more precisely, the way this policy is implemented in the country. In particular, farmers are demanding a reduction in burdens such as water charges and an interruption of the many bureaucratic regulations they are subject to.
They then demand that the electricity debt of the irrigation facilities be canceled and the CAP be paid as soon as possible, given that European funds will be released with a delay of more than a month. Farmers then highlight a number of problems, such as the increase in production costs being higher than in neighboring countries, as well as regulatory differences between France and the rest of Europe, with imported products not complying with the standards imposed on French farmers. So we manage to be cheaper.
The protest against McDonald’s and Burger King was dictated by protectionist reasons.
The Haute-Saône Federation of Farmers’ Unions denounced that livestock farming in the region was “dying” and “fast food restaurants are overcrowded”. Hamburger giants are accused of not using enough French meat and preferring foreign meat. According to the federation, fast-food chains “import large amounts of meat from abroad” and around 50% of it is used to prepare their burgers. And they are “champions at ‘Frenchifying’ burgers with one-off operations like the cheese slice on the steak.”
However, two multinational companies denied these accusations; Burger King France has claimed to have put in place a plan to ensure 60% of its beef and chicken supply comes from France by 2024. McDonald’s also claimed to be an “exclusive and long-lasting brand”. -Permanent partner of French agriculture, both in terms of supply and contractual agreements, which started more than 30 years ago”.
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Source: Today IT
Karen Clayton is a seasoned journalist and author at The Nation Update, with a focus on world news and current events. She has a background in international relations, which gives her a deep understanding of the political, economic and social factors that shape the global landscape. She writes about a wide range of topics, including conflicts, political upheavals, and economic trends, as well as humanitarian crisis and human rights issues.