“Farmer explains farmers’ frustration” (January 16)
They quote: “The recent cuts in subsidies for farmers for agricultural diesel and taxes have been the last straw. What has been increasingly imposed on farmers for decades is driving smaller businesses in particular into ruin. Things cannot and must not continue like this, including small-scale agriculture is one of the top performers in Bavaria.” And: “Agricultural policy obviously only wants large farms.”
I have the impression that many farmers have now woken up to the fact that their subsidies are not God-given, but depend on the dictates of empty coffers. Many people drive all over the country in the hope of saving their fortunes at the expense of others. But the large amounts are determined at the EU level, whether most of the money goes to companies with large areas or whether it should flow to the majority of medium-sized and small companies depending on the effort. The conversion from agricultural diesel to vegetable oil production also needs active support from the EU.
The European elections are on June 9th. The dice are being reshuffled again – initially for Parliament – with implications for the Commission's policy. Which candidates can you expect the most support from?
Albert Hartl, Eichenau
Orientation towards the common good
“Better Farming” (January 20/21)
Unfortunately, this is never said by opportunists like Söder and Aiwanger, who only want to use the farmers' protests for their own benefit. Not even that the “market” for agriculture is completely different than that for underpants or screws. Because it works on the basis of a good that cannot be increased and is in principle there for everyone, a clear orientation towards the common good would actually be required. You give some nice examples. As a volunteer board member of a village community with a successful Demeterhof, we legally organized it exactly that way, no private property, not for sale.
Because we also have problems caused by the capitalist pursuit of profit and “land grabbing”, I recently wrote a letter to the editor with a solution perspective, which was even published on January 5th. It would actually be pretty easy, but as long as everyone dances to Lindner's tune, there's no chance. You would still need a lot of journalistic support because this idea is hardly visible anywhere.
Gerhard Herz, Gröbenzell
Short path from farmer to consumer
“Why agrarian reform would be better” (January 13/14)
It's no longer just about the tax refund on agricultural diesel, it's fundamentally about how the agriculture and food industry can be kept sustainable! For too long, politics and support for the agricultural sector have been going in the wrong direction. Many of the old agricultural politicians and representatives of farmers' associations still believe that agricultural production in Germany must be at world market level. With crocodile tears, people then regret that more and more companies are falling by the wayside.
Let's look beyond our own horizons, even in the EU it has been recognized that the supply of healthy, local food is at risk. That's why the EU Commission developed a “Farm to Fork Strategy” in May 2020 as part of the “Green Deal”. This is exactly where politics and farmers' associations in Germany should start. Structures must be promoted again that aim for a short route from the farmer to the consumer.
In the Fürstenfeldbruck district, regional structures have been able to maintain medium-sized businesses for several decades. Examples include the machinery and operational support ring, the direct marketing association “Bauernquelle” with the farmers' market, the solidarity community “Brucker Land”, the regional slaughterhouse, the organic marketing company and the nutrition council.
Max Keil, Puchheim