Farmers face supply shortages
German farmers' lobbying organization calls for postponement of fertilizer regulations - and facing the corona crisis threatens to cut food production.
People across the country want to help farmers because many seasonal workers cannot get in. But although the peasants are happy with this solidarity, they also use the heavy artillery of lobbying.
In an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the organization "Land creates a link", which also launched the farmers' protests, asked for the suspension of the implementation of the ordinance German modified on fertilizers (DüVO) and no penalty. The German Farmers' Association is also insisting on a change - although water suppliers have been asking for more and more desperately for years to reduce the use of nitrates in order to protect groundwater.
No federal government has been able to comply with the European nitrates directive for 29 years; the power of the agricultural lobby, which wants to continue dumping too much manure into the fields, seems too strong.
This time, the farmers' representatives link their request to the corona crisis.Too much nitrate in groundwater: Germany faces fine of 850 euros - per day
Germany faces a fine of 850 euros per day
Clearly, "the earth creates links" threatens the food supply if farmers fail to achieve their ends. "A negative political decision would hamper the decisions of German farmers and dissipate any motivation - many companies would have to stop producing food," the letter said.
And even more clearly: "An additional burden for these companies due to the tightening of the DüVO would entail a number of operational tasks and would thus inevitably endanger the food supply. This would considerably threaten the level of self-sufficiency of basic foodstuffs in Germany - fatal in crisis situations like the current one! "
While most other EU countries have followed the nitrates guidelines for years, Germany is the only member country that still exceeds the guidelines that have existed since 1991. If this condition persists, the Federal Republic will be liable to fines of up to 850 euros - per day. At a time when every euro is necessary to fight against the corona crisis.
These sanctions can only be avoided if the Federal Council approves the ordinance on improved fertilizers. Friday, the panel will meet for a special meeting because urgent decisions must be made in the context of the crisis. It is still unclear whether the fertilizer regulations are also on the agenda. The federal government has already rejected the federal states' proposed changes. Lower Saxony alone, the heart of industrial farming, wanted nine changes.
If countries give in to pressure from farmers, this could be a fatal signal. Then other relevant systemic groups could follow the example of farmers and express their own interests in reference to the virus crisis.
Many of these groups may even have legitimate interests: more wages for hospital and nursing staff, better working conditions for drivers and supermarket staff. So far, however, these groups have simply continued to work - without threatening them.
https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/coron ... 8ca0b3bbd0