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FREEDOM TUBS: Dutch farmers block food distribution centres

Keean Bexte

July 4, 2022

Dutch farmers have begun blocking food distribution centres across the Netherlands, with some trucks lugging hot tubs to the protests — a harkening back to the Canadian Freedom Convoy.

Freedom Tubs: Dutch farmers bring hot tubs to distribution centre blockade
Freedom Tubs: Dutch farmers bring hot tubs to distribution centre blockade. Photo credit @ Luciano De Graaf.

Up to 20 food distribution centres have been blocked by trucks and tractors as of July 4, including those in Nieuwegein, Drachten, Heerenveen, Zwolle, Veghel, Breda, Beilen, Woerden, Nijkerk, and Geldermalsen.

Besides hot tubs, other farmers brought picnic tables and were photographed casually drinking coffee in front of the Boni distribution centre in Nijkerk.

The Dutch Central Food Trade Agency (CBL) has denounced the protests and called on the government to resolve the conflict immediately.

“These blockades are unacceptable,” the CBL wrote in a statement. “The CBL previously called on the government and farmers to use the dialogue and resolve the conflict. The farmers have a conflict with the government about nitrogen, [and] the members of the CBL are not involved. Blockades of distribution centers hurt the citizens of the Netherlands.”

“Supermarkets are doing everything they can to keep the stores stocked. But when such blockages last longer, it can mean that the daily shopping can no longer be done.”

Dutch farmers have also blockaded highways, going so far as creating a massive tractor chain and unloading manure on the road to shut down the Netherlands-Germany border.

Additionally, fishermen have joined in the protest, working together to shut down various ports across the country.

As previously reported by The Counter Signal, Dutch farmers and now fishermen are protesting a business-destroying green policy which will require businesses to reduce nitrogen emissions nationwide by 50% and up to 95% in some provinces by 2030, with cows and fertilizers being significant contributors.

“The honest message … is that not all farmers can continue their business,” a government statement reads.

The agriculture industry isn’t the only one being targeted, though — aviation has also come under fire, and it’s expected those in the industry will join the farmers in protest.

According to Climate Change News, by the end of 2023, Schipol airport, one of the busiest in Europe, will be forced to limit annual flights to accommodate just 440,000 passengers (12% less than the number of flights in 2019).

“This is a difficult message for the aviation sector that is still recovering from the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,” said transport minister Mark Harbers.

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