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Consumers back Europe’s angry farmers but struggle to afford locally-produced food

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: In response to widespread farmer protests across Europe, governments including France, Spain, and Greece have pledged significant financial support to the agricultural sector
The protests, fueled by concerns over inflation, high interest rates, and volatile energy prices, have underscored the economic strain on both farmers and households
The European Commission has made concessions to appease the agricultural community, amidst broader public support for the farmers' cause

🔭 The context: European farmers are grappling with multiple challenges, including the loss of inexpensive Russian natural gas, disruptions in trade routes, and stringent climate regulations that increase production costs
These issues are compounded by high interest rates and the competition from cheaper food imports, which have sparked protests and blockades, highlighting the farmers' plight and their crucial role in food sovereignty

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The farmer protests spotlight the intricate balance between ensuring food security, supporting local economies, and meeting environmental sustainability goals within the EU
These challenges are magnified by the ongoing climate crisis and the need for policies that support the agricultural sector's transition to more sustainable practices without compromising their livelihoods

⏭️ What's next: With the European Parliament elections looming in June, the EU's response to the agricultural protests and its ability to navigate the complex interplay of economic, environmental, and social factors will be critical
The financial support and policy adjustments are steps toward addressing immediate concerns, but long-term strategies are needed to achieve a sustainable, resilient, and fair agricultural system in Europe

💬 One quote: "We understand their anger because we value farmers. What are we going to do if they are not here? We won't eat. Such protests are important," (truck driver Jeremy Donf)

📈 One stat: Prices for wheat, corn and other grain - except rice - are lower than they were before Russia's invasion of Ukraine drove global food commodity costs to record highs in 2022

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change


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