French farmers protest environment-friendly changes to agriculture policy

Three cows with tags in their ears, photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash
Three cows with tags in their ears, photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Thousands of farmers drove tractors into the streets of French cities on Friday to protest the changes of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to focus more on ecological farming.

France is the biggest receiver of EU agricultural subsidies.

The country’s agriculture ministry is discussing doubling financial support to vegetable protein production to decrease dependence on the imports like soy, which is needed to feed farm animals.

Around 5,000 farmers in 12 French departments, including in the greater Paris region, joined the protest, according to the national farmers’ association FNSEA.

They feel that France is abandoning them if it decides to promote environment-friendly production, such as vegetable protein instead of animal or grain farming.

France is currently working on its national version of the CAP, which it will present to the European Commission in June.

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