The Farmers Association fear for bankruptcies due to EU imports
A new agreement between Norway and the EU more than doubles duty-free imports of beef from EU countries. The Farmers Association (Bondelaget) fear that Norwegian farmers face bankruptcies.
– The agreement is impacting agriculture hard in the current situation, says Leader of the Norwegian Farmers Association, Lars Petter Bartnes to the Klassekampen newspaper.
An additional 400 metric ton of meat will enter into the Norwegian market before Christmas. When the agreement comes fully into force, duty-free imports will increase by 1,600 metric ton, totalling 2,500 ton of beef in 2019.
At the same time as imports increase, many farmers must slaughter the livestock due to lack of feed following the drought this summer. Increased imports will increase competition for Norwegian farmers.
– I am aware of cases where there is a risk of bankruptcy, which in turn will entail closure of the operations, says Bartnes, adding that Norwegian food production will be weakened.
– It is even more important that consumers look for the foods labelled “Nyt Norge” (Enjoy Norway) and ensure that there is Norwegian food on the table.
Leader of Red, Bjørnar Moxnes, believes it’s madness to increase imports in the present situation.
– We want a clear answer from the Minister for Agriculture if he will stop the increased imports or not. This can leave the farmers with no legs to stand on and undermine the livelihood of peasants across the country, says Moxnes.
The Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale (Progress Party), has not been able to answer the inquiries made by Klassekampen.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today