13 May 2024

Marion Banide

Farmer Protests: When sustainability collides with economic reality  


The European Union has experienced a surge in farmer protests since December 2023, fuelled by mounting debts, price pressure and fears of unfair competition within and beyond the Union. Similarly, on the side of the Atlantic, farmers in Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador have taken to the streets to advocate for better prices and more equitable policies to sustain their livelihoods.

These demonstrations take place as farmers are under growing pressure, facing an increase in extreme weather events threatening their production, a fragmented geopolitical and economic context which raised the price of energy and agricultural inputs, paired with increasingly stringent environmental standards that further contribute to high production costs.

In essence, these widespread protests prompt broader societal reflections on the role of farming in our contemporary societies and its future. They underscore the vital role of farmers and agriculture in shaping societies while highlighting the delicate balance between sustainability, food safety, and the need to protect vulnerable communities within the agriculture sector.

Moreover, they also raise a central question regarding sustainability: Can we achieve a sustainable economy without a significant fall in prices and living conditions for farmers?

This blog series aims to outline the key areas for change and policy-making, and recognises the urgent role of governments in solving these challenges. The series consists of three parts and addresses different aspects of the topic. 

To continue reading, click here for the next part: Farmer Protests: When sustainability collides with economic reality- Part 1. Solving the dilemma between affordability, profitability, and sustainability.

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13 May 2024

Marion Banide

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