Worldlog week 45 – 2014
On Tuesday 28 October, our party existed exactly 12 years and we celebrated that by 70 minutes of speaking time during the budget debate on nature and agriculture.
Party for the Animals 12 years
During the budget debate, I argued for introducing a fair price proof for, inter alia, middlemen and supermarkets with regard to agricultural products. With a fair price proof, market parties must be able to show the purchase prices they offer to farmers are sufficient to cover production costs. These costs should also include costs incurred to meet social requirements in the areas of animal welfare, nature and the environment.
Currently, farmers often sell their products below cost. This goes at the expense of farmers, animals, nature and the environment. Farmers must be given a better revenue model! The prices farmers receive for their products must cover the actual costs incurred. This should be demonstrated by supermarkets and other buyers. It would be a step towards a more transparent food chain in which the quality of food as well as animal welfare, the protection of nature and the environment can be better guaranteed. This would consequently create a foundation of sustainability in the market!
This is a fragment of my speech:
Times of crises demand leadership, guts and courage. Vulnerable values, such as animal welfare, nature and the environment must be protected against the market, negligence and indifference. If we fail to do so, the negative consequences will come back as a boomerang not just for animals, nature and the environment but also for ourselves.
With regard to reforming livestock farming, I ask the State Secretary to not let herself be hindered by short term economic interests and the idea that between dream and deed, laws and practicalities remain, as reads the most quoted line of poetry by Willem Elsschot.
Between dream and deed, laws and practicalities remain. But not when it comes to reforming livestock farming. The law allows it, election programmes promise it, voters want it and the coalition agreement does not bar it.
In the wake of all institutes mentioned and people like Al Gore, Bill Gates and Paul McCartney, the Party for the Animals would like to have a serious debate on the necessity of realising a reduction of meat and dairy consumption. This is because meat is the most environmentally damaging component of our diet – which is also the government position.
This government position, chairman, now has more wind in its sails than ever. Let’s use this wind to cover some ground in this file.
It is good to hear that officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure & Environment, Defence and Social Affairs are going for a Meatless Monday. Great! Still, it is odd that many ministries are introducing a Meatless Monday, whereas the Ministry of Economic Affairs (food) and Health is not …
It is good to hear that increasingly more Dutch dairy farmers have become afraid their farms will also become more intensive and larger-scale. They fear that new legislation which lets go of milk quotas will “pigify” the dairy sector (i.e. will become just like intensive pig farming). Abandoning milk quotas and the requirement of land-based businesses will increase the numbers of cows standing in stables throughout the year. As from 1 January 2015, European quota rules for milk production will come to an end and dairy farmers will be able to keep numbers of milk cows that far exceed all norms of healthy, environmentally-friendly-, nature-friendly- and animal-friendly forms of livestock farming.
See you next week! Marianne