Hundreds of farmers have taken to the streets in Belgium in recent days to protest, with tractors arriving in Brussels for the latest demonstration this Wednesday evening.

The protest action comes as the leaders of the 27 EU member states gather in the city for a summit and follows similar demonstrations in Germany, France and Poland in recent weeks.

Boerenbond, the farming organisation which represents farmers in Flanders and eastern Belgium, said that this week and next week hundreds of farmers will take to the streets during a range of demonstrations.

It has said that farmers in Belgium have three demands of their government:

  • 1. Stop overloading farmers with rules: “Calendar agriculture is the best example of this. Our farmers can only fertilise and sow when the weather and soil permit,” Boerenbond said.
  • 2. A fair price: “If we impose extra efforts on our farmers, they must pay a fair price for it. And if consumers do not want to pay the difference with less sustainable products from elsewhere in the world and we cannot protect our market against the import of those products, there is only one solution: structural and fair financing for all those extra efforts made,” it said.
  • 3. Legal certainty: “If they [farmers] invest sustainably, this involves long-term depreciation. They therefore do not benefit from permits that can be challenged at any time and regulations that are constantly changing.”
  • Boerenbond has called on the entire Flemish government, led by prime minister Jan Jambon, to consult with agricultural organisations about their demands and work with them to find solutions.


    Farmers will protest in Ghent and Brussels on Thursday. Demonstrations will also take place in other parts of the country.

    On Wednesday afternoon, over 100 farmers drove to Merksplas market, northeast of Antwerp, to protest.

    Fifty tractors gathered on the bridge over the E40 in Middelkerke, in west Flanders, to protest on a farm where several MEPs were meeting.

    “In recent years, Boerenbond has provided solutions in every possible way and has continued to engage in dialogue with policymakers,” the association said.

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