Open letter: "Give future to agriculture!"
Today, many farmers and horticulturists are heading to Brussels by tractor to take action. A signal to remind policy makers of the needs agriculture is facing today. Milcobel fully supports this action. As a cooperative, we work day in and day out with our member dairy farmers to produce high-quality dairy products. Healthy, local and sustainable. Our farmers deserve a future, just like the 2,000 families of our Milcobel employees.
Local, sustainable and healthy food
As Milcobel, we - together with our 2,000 members - are concerned when we listen to the current political discussions on agricultural policy. After all, the nitrogen agreement is about much more than the dozens of Flemish farms that may soon be forced to close their doors.
It is about how we treat our agriculture and the people who put their heart and soul into the stile every day. The people who ensure that we have healthy, local and sustainable food on our plates. In fact, the nitrogen dossier not only affects our farms but has an impact on all actors in the broad agro-food chain; and thus also on Milcobel. As a dairy company, we employ 2,000 people whose jobs depend directly on agriculture.
Why polarize between agriculture and the environment, when agriculture is also part of the solution? Choosing agriculture that has a future is not a choice against sustainability. On the contrary.
Why not search constructively in consultation with the sector for feasible and affordable solutions that benefit everyone?
Our farmers must be given the respect they deserve! Agriculture and local food production are an essential part of our society. Therefore, we must create a future for current and hopefully many future generations of farmers.
Together with our farmers, Milcobel is asking for more respect.
We demand legal certainty and future perspective; starting from a constructive dialogue in which agriculture is not merely perceived as "the problem," but as part of the solution.
We call on policy makers to work together across party lines to achieve a swift approval of the Common Agricultural Policy and the release of European funds, and to work constructively and in consultation with the sector towards a realistic and fair nitrogen agreement.
Only in this way will we give oxygen to our farmers and ensure sustainable and healthy food, close by, also in the future. As Milcobel, we will gladly put our shoulders to the wheel!
Betty Eeckhaut, President Nils van Dam, CEO