Global “Holodomor” Ahead: The Intentional Destruction Of Agriculture

Dutch farmers and fishermen represent the “canary in the coal mine” in the battle to destroy agriculture worldwide. Everything that is happening there is being replicated in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe. Holodomor means “death by hunger,” as was intentionally inflicted on Ukrainian peasants during 1932-33, killing at least 5 million. Now that a global Holodomor is forming, it should be as plain as your nose on your face.

This paper represents every facet of the attack in the Netherlands. There is still time to thwart these evil plans, but the vast majority of the intended victims have no clue. — Technocracy News & Trends Editor Patrick Wood

By: Elze van Hamelen via Solari Report

I. Introduction

In 2022, Dutch farmers made worldwide news when they began protesting government plans to move them off their lands. Less known to the outside world is the fact that Dutch fishermen, too, are being driven out of their centuries-old fishing grounds, as wind farms and “protected natural areas” take their place. For the current political class at the local, national, and global levels, and for the uninformed public at large, farmers and fishermen stand accused of damaging nature—with officials claiming that policies to “restore” nature and keep it free from human activity are necessary.

How did this false dichotomy of “man versus nature” arise and come to the forefront of policymaking? To answer that question, one has to dive into the history of industrial agriculture and the rise of global agribusiness (see Some Post-WWII Historical Background). That history shows that United Nations (UN) treaties to “protect” nature—such as Habitat I (1976),1 Agenda 21 (1992),2 and the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)3—have encouraged rapid urbanization while emptying out the countryside. Even more significantly, these treaties are a direct (albeit stealthy) attack on private property and the sovereignty of nation-states.

Currently, the land grab is speeding up. The UN agenda to expand the amount of land set aside for “protection” is accelerating, and simultaneously, BlackRock and other asset managers and private equity investors are buying up large tracts of land worldwide. Meanwhile, the cities created through engineered urbanization are rapidly turning into open-air prisons—heavily surveilled “smart cities” divided into 15-minute zones.

To understand the challenges that Dutch farmers and fishermen are facing—and learn from their experiences—the Solari Report wanted to speak to them directly. In the spring of 2023, I conducted in-depth interviews with eight Dutch farmers and fishermen. (In this report, we provide bios for the two farmers and two fishermen interviewed on camera.) The interviews furnish a “from the horse’s mouth” picture of the tsunami of policies that are making it increasingly impossible for farmers and fishermen to keep producing food. Their sobering words form a centerpiece of this 2nd Quarter 2023 Wrap Up. They warn that the means of food production are being undermined, moved abroad, or in other ways concentrated in the hands of multinational corporations.

The Evil Twins of Technocracy and Transhumanism

As people around the world grapple with the importance of building and strengthening local food systems, the observations of Dutch farmers and fishermen, and their assessment of how current developments may impact their—and our—future, provide vital intelligence. Historically, the move from privately owned land and food production to centralized systems has led to famines, including the greatest famines of the 20th century. However, centralization is neither a necessity nor, if we take action, a foregone conclusion. In my conversations with farmers and fishermen, I encountered courage, resilience, creativity, entrepreneurship, and a real passion for the work that they and their families and communities have performed for generations. The interviews also reminded me that farming and fishing communities do more than just provide our food—they maintain a cultural thread that keeps us rooted in history and to the land. As consumers, investors, and citizens, it is high time that we support the people who feed us.

This report:

  • Describes the policy tsunami that has hit Dutch farmers and fishermen (Parts II and III)
  • Outlines the coercive “solutions” proposed by the government and their consequences (Parts IV and V)
  • Discusses the Netherlands as an industrial agriculture case study and cautionary tale
  • Considers globalists’ long-standing plans for controlling land, people, and the seas (Parts VII, VIII, and IX)
  • Examines the control grid and the economic and energy warfare and control of food supplies that it facilitates (Part X)
  • Considers the larger endgame (Part XI)
  • Proposes solutions (Part XII)

Some Post-WWII Historical Background

The narrative that underpins many of the policies that are driving people off the land and sea is that man is “bad for nature” and that nature needs to be saved from man. To understand how this narrative came to the forefront of regulations, we have to go back to the period after WWII. During this post-war period, agriculture in many parts of the world underwent a fundamental transformation from the traditional farming practices used for thousands of years to an industrialized model of agriculture. This shift, which was top-down, could not have been achieved without state intervention.4

When Britain’s position as a global hegemon started declining in the period after WWI, power brokers at the U.S. State Department started planning to take over its role. That group recognized, however, that it would not be sustainable to occupy colonies through direct rule, as Britain had done. Instead, they gradually constructed a system of economic colonization, whereby countries had ostensible political independence but were controlled by debt bondage and forced liberalization and globalization policies. The new global governance architecture was run by, among others, the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).5-7

As geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl explains in his 2007 book Seeds of Destruction, “Under the banner of ‘free trade’ and the opening of closed markets around the world, US big business would advance their agenda, forcing open new untapped markets for cheap raw materials as well as new outlets for selling American manufactures after the war” (p. 106).5 In essence, free-trade policies meant that to a large extent, countries lost control over their economies. International corporations—not beholden to national boundaries—have a very advantageous position in this system.

Among the hegemonic aspirations of the U.S. was the explicit policy goal of dominating global agricultural markets.5 To achieve this, the U.S. government worked hand in glove with the Rockefeller family and its foundation, whose members had influential positions in every imaginable area of the establishment—from political circles to academia, business, finance, and think tanks.5 Engdahl writes (p. 114):

The Rockefeller group wielded tremendous influence on the State Department. Every man who served as Secretary of State in the critical Cold War years ranging from 1952 to the end of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency in 1979 had formerly been a leading figure from the Rockefeller Foundation. [They] all understood the Rockefeller views on the importance of private sector activity over the role of government, and they understood how the Rockefellers viewed agriculture—as a commodity just like oil, which could be traded, controlled, made scarce or plentiful depending on foreign policy goals of the few corporations controlling its trade.5

A cornerstone of the strategy to dominate agriculture was the worldwide deployment of the industrial agricultural model developed by the Rockefeller Foundation. In the global south, this model was implemented as the Green Revolution; in Western Europe, the makeover of agriculture was financed with Marshall Plan investments.4 For the first several decades of the 20th century (1906–1935), the Rockefeller Foundation had financed agricultural programs in the U.S. South and conducted crop enhancement research in China, and in 1941, it started experimenting with agricultural science methods in India and Mexico.8 Also in the 1940s, Nelson and Laurance Rockefeller bought large swaths of Latin American farmland to expand the family’s influence in agriculture.9 The Rockefellers’ overarching message was that agriculture needed to become more “efficient,” rationalized, mechanized, and otherwise improved through technological and chemical means.

The proponents of industrial agriculture sold it as a path to alleviate hunger, quell civil unrest and communist sympathies, and produce food surpluses for a burgeoning population; however, domination of global agricultural markets forced countries to give up their self-sufficiency and allowed food to be used as a strategic weapon, as it was, for example, during the Cold War. Under the “Food for Peace” program that started in 1954, the U.S. made the sharing of its food surpluses part of its foreign aid. Rockefeller protegé Henry Kissinger asserted that “food aid should be considered an instrument of national power”5 and stipulated that such aid should be conditioned on recipient countries opening up their markets for free trade and taking population control measures.9

II. Policy Tsunami Hits Farmers

Two Farmers

Jeroen van Maanen: I met Jeroen van Maanen at his farm in Flevoland in the heart of the Netherlands. This agricultural land was reclaimed from the IJsselmeer in the 1950s and 1960s. “All the trees you see here, we planted them 40 years ago,” van Maanen explains. As part of the action group called Farmers Defense Force, he became a prominent spokesperson for Dutch farmers in 2019. He is now a board member of the Dutch Dairy Farmers Union (Nederlandse Melkveehouders Vakbond). His farmer’s lineage reaches far back; his father, grandfather, and countless generations before them were all farmers. Van Maanen says, “They say it is in your blood. I knew I wanted to be a farmer and work with cows since before I could talk. I love working with nature and with the animals.”

Jon Bergeman: Jon Bergeman is the treasurer of the VBBM (the Association for the Preservation of Farmers and Nature), an Association that helps farmers restore natural cycles by feeding cows in a way that supports their health and applying manure in a manner that nurtures and restores the soil. Bergeman says, “I married the daughter of a farmer, and we ran the farm for 30 years. I loved working outside, the freedom of the work, and working with animals. We started as a regular farm but made the transition to organic farming after 20 years. It all went well, until we were hit by the phosphate policies. We did not have a phosphate problem. The policies bankrupted our perfectly healthy, environmentally friendly organic farm. I became burned out, my wife and I got divorced, and I left the farm. I now support farmers in applying nature-friendly solutions to agriculture.”

Clipping Farmers’ Wings

The ongoing protests by farmers in the Netherlands made international news in 2022. The protests were first triggered in 2019, when one of the parties of the coalition government, the “D66” party, proposed a plan to reduce the country’s livestock by 50%, ostensibly to reduce nitrogen emissions. The protests came to a head in 2022, and throughout the summer, streets in the countryside were adorned with upside-down flags—the sign of a country in distress.10,11

As Jeroen van Maanen explains:

The nitrogen regulations were the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. But it was not only about the nitrogen. The bureaucrats in The Hague keep looking for something to hit us with. If it is not zoonotic diseases, then it is cattle density. Perhaps methane will be next. We already have gone through a number of chapters on water quality. They keep changing the rules of the game (and every time, it increases the costs of production). It is very hard for farmers to earn a living that way. Moreover, because profit margins on a farmer’s products are so low, we have been following a system in which scale enlargement is the only solution to increase profits. However, mostly because we can’t raise our level of production any further, we are running into the limits of this system. Society keeps demanding changes of farmers, for which we need to make private investments. But the cost of these investments is not included in the cost of our products, because the consumer expects cheap food.

In addition, there is so much regulatory and administrative pressure, we are losing our sense of proportion. Everything is locked into protocol; there is no more trust in people. All of our activities need to be extensively documented to avoid possible legal risks. Of course, this is not only happening to the farmers. The same thing is happening to teachers and nurses. Instead of doing what they are good at, they spend 75% of their time writing reports. Even for people who truly love their vocation, they get bullied out of their work in this way.

In addition to having to respond to ‘stifling’ policies and administrative burdens, farmers find that their job is now directed by bureaucrats who have very little understanding of what the work on the ground entails. Van Maanen pleads, “People with ‘knowledge about nature’ are currently sitting behind desks with a bow tie around their necks. Don’t clip the farmer’s wings. Just let people do what they are good at. That is a necessary condition to get to a better world.”

Debt Traps

As van Maanen explained, the nitrogen regulations were not the first policy challenge farmers had to deal with. For decades, Europe’s dairy market had been kept stable through heavily regulated milk quotas to cap overproduction, but in 2008, the European Commission gave a heads-up that it would be repealing the quotas in 2015. Institutional partners—such as banks, milk factories, cooperatives, and the LTO farmers union—forecast that without the quotas, the market would be able to grow by 20%. All the experts encouraged farmers to capture this “market opportunity” by taking on debt to expand their businesses.12

Farmer Alex Brouwer shared his memory of this period:

Many farmers started building new stables because the quota was revoked. However, my father was never enthusiastic about scale enlargement. His policy was to avoid the need to discard manure outside our farm, and in normal years, to avoid buying feed from the market. The number of cows on our farm dovetails with what our land can support. He did save for a new stable to give our cattle more space. All the agricultural and financial experts told us we were crazy to invest in a stable but not expand. Of course, for expansion, the bank is always willing to provide a loan. Fortunately, because of my father’s prudent financial management, he was not fully dependent on the bank to finance the stable. Otherwise, scale enlargement would have been a condition for the loan.

Phosphate Policy

The European Union officially ended its milk quotas on April 1, 2015. By July 1, 2015, the Dutch government had implemented phosphate emissions quotas for all dairy farmers.

With the end of the milk quotas, a relatively small number of Dutch dairy farmers significantly expanded their livestock operations, producing more manure and generating increased phosphate emissions. However, 70 of the largest emitters received an exemption from the phosphate emissions ceiling13; instead, the government’s across-the-board emissions ceiling penalized small mixed farms (cultivating both crops and livestock) that had contributed little to nothing to the problem.14 The regulations ended up bankrupting many of the mixed farms.

Jon Bergeman was one of them:

The quota was repealed, and everyone expanded, but we didn’t. Because we were in the middle of transitioning to organic farming, our production had temporarily decreased. Then we were allocated phosphate emissions rights based on this low production level. As a result, the government demanded that we get rid of 35 of our 120 cows. But it is those last couple of cows that make it possible to generate a sustainable income. Our whole business model was planned around 120 to 130 cows. We did not have a phosphate problem. Simultaneous with the emissions cap, we were allowed to import manure externally. I still do not understand how this was possible. You work hard for 25 years even just to be able to do something like build a new barn. How can the government take that away from you? It was so unjust, you feel powerless. We fought for two years, but we lost. They call this the ‘risk of entrepreneurship.’”

Nitrogen Policy

In conformity with the European Union’s “Natura 2000” legislation,15 which requires the creation of a coordinated network of protected areas across the EU, the Netherlands has designated 162 areas as nature reserves—many more than neighboring European countries. According to this legislation, nature in these areas is not allowed to “deteriorate.”16 Van Maanen explains how this works in practice, and how it led to the supposed nitrogen problem:

The EU has identified about 300 ‘pressure factors’ that could damage natural environments, nitrogen being one of them. The Netherlands has singled out nitrogen, alleging that agricultural emissions near Natura 2000 areas are damaging these reserves. So they say, ‘If the farmers go, then nature will improve.’ It is ridiculous. It is all based on models and assumptions that are often wrong. They are designed for one goal: get the farmers off the land.

To solve the “nitrogen crisis,” the Dutch government is planning to buy out 2,000 to 3,000 farms.17 Bergeman worries that this is only the beginning: “If the farms near nature need to go, then the amount of arable land becomes smaller. I may have to go first, but my neighbor will be next.”

The Natura 2000 areas are also threatening the livelihood of farmer Alex Brouwer. He farms land that is partially owned and partially leased. The leases were locked into ancient contracts, seemingly securing his right to farm. Without informing him, however, the provincial government changed the zoning of the land from an agricultural zone to a nature zone. He was informed that by 2027 or 2030, the land must become “herbal-rich grassland.”18 Back in 2016, researchers at the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency understatedly put it this way: “In certain regions, political choices have to be made between ecology and competitive agriculture.”19

Brouwer explains the true implications for nature and soil health:

This means that no cattle will be allowed on those lands. There will be no manure on the land. This starts a process of atrophy. That does not improve nature. If cattle do not graze the pastures, the grass dies, the soil loses its humus. It becomes sand, it is desertification. I believe that nature loves biodiversity, not deserts. These nature protection organizations are just out for more land.

Interestingly, the “nitrogen crisis” appears to stop at the German border. Moreover, the convoluted and highly criticized “AERIUS” model developed by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reports an excess of emissions even when a baseline of zero is inserted into the model.20 Recognizing the contradictions, a number of academicians with a background in studying nitrogen deposition models—including emeritus professor Kees de Lange, Dr. Jaap Hanekamp, and emeritus professor Han Lindeboom—have criticized the nitrogen model and related policies and are pleading for sensibleness. However, the legacy media have shunned these academicians and their valid criticisms.

Dr. Hanekamp posits that “there is no nitrogen crisis”; he is an advocate of scrapping the model altogether. For his part, professor de Lange states:

[The nitrogen problem] is an official fabrication, based on a ‘model’ of the RIVM in which deviations of more than 100% from reality are the rule rather than the exception. Moreover, in the densely populated Netherlands there are far too many ‘Natura 2000 areas’ and the limit values for ‘nitrogen exceedance’ are unrealistic and unfeasible.16

Even if we assume that there is a nitrogen problem, professor Lindeboom discovered in his doctoral research decades ago that such problems are very local. An increase of nitrogen will affect which plants grow in specific local areas. Insofar as this is deemed an issue, it can be solved with simple, local solutions.21

III. Policy Tsunami Hits Fishermen

Two Fishermen

Jurie Post: Post is a native of the former island Urk, which harbors a tight-knit fisheries community. We met him and his youngest son Benjamin at the dock on a sunny day, enjoying a splendid view over the IJsselmeer. Post shared, “On Urk, being involved in fishing is part of the community, and it comes down through the generations. I have no idea how long this goes back. I just love being out at sea, being in nature. I cannot express how beautiful it is to see the sunrise in my ‘office.’ My sons want to become fishermen as well.” Post often brings up his Christian faith, still shared in the Urker community as well. “Jesus said, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ so we support each other. That is the principle from which you build a better society.”

Peke Wouda: Wouda fishes for shrimp in the coastal regions of the Netherlands. We met him on a clear sunny day on his trawler at the dock of the small town of Stavoren. It is a stunning boat. He explained, “The boat is older than I am. If you maintain it well, the boat can last over 100 years.” Wouda grew up with fishing. He notes, “My grandfather was a fisherman and my father as well. As a child, I would go along with them to fish during school vacations. I love the freedom and the adventure of fishing—and the competition. My brothers are fishermen as well, and at the end of the week, we all want to bring home the largest catch.”

Loss of Fishing Grounds to Brexit, Wind Farms, and Nature “Protection”

The flood of bad policies hitting Dutch fishermen is, if possible, even worse than what is happening to the nation’s farmers. The marine areas that are still accessible to fishermen are dwindling. For starters, a lot of fishing ground was lost when, due to Brexit, EU and Dutch fishermen no longer had access to UK fishing grounds. In addition, 20% (11.374 square kilometers) of the Dutch North Sea area has been assigned as Natura 2000 protected areas, which are partially or wholly closed for fishing.22 The EU is planning to increase these areas up to 30%.23

The Netherlands had already scheduled a major increase of wind energy generation at sea, but these intentions achieved megalomaniac proportions when the countries bordering the North Sea announced, during a summit in Ostend, Belgium on April 24, 2023, that the North Sea would be turned into “Europe’s Green Power Plant,” with a planned expansion of 30,000 wind turbines by 2050.24,25

A 2021 report titled The High Value of The North Sea by the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies condenses all government plans for the North Sea in 2050 in one map on which, tellingly, there is no space allocated for fishermen.26 The report’s Table 1 states, “Large parts of the North Sea currently available for fishing will make way for other uses, such as wind farms and sustainable aquaculture.” The report’s authors acknowledge, “This may lead to (further) unrest in the sector.”

You might expect nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) focused on protection of nature to be concerned about such a large-scale wind power intervention in a natural habitat, but as fisherman Peke Wouda observes, “They have different standards for wind energy than for fishermen.” He continues, “We [fishermen] always have to prove that we are not damaging nature, but they can build these offshore wind farms without doing the research first to understand what effects this will have. There are so many wind turbines that you cannot even find the fishermen anymore.” Fisherman Jurie Post states, “These plans make me very concerned. Before, I would have thought, ‘The sea is big, you cannot destroy nature.’ But with this, yes, it is possible to destroy the North Sea.”

The ways in which the government requires fishermen to prove that their activities are not harmful border on the ridiculous. Post shared a story about how he participated in research that assessed the effect of a shadow cast from a fisherman’s boat on underwater life: “Fishermen are not allowed to impact nature. But, at the same time, we are followed by seals and seabirds. They know where they can find some food. Are our shadows impacting them negatively?”

Somehow, the effects of the moving shadows cast by the blades of thousands of 200-meter-long wind turbines seem to be of no concern. Post points out, moreover, that with the turbines, “It’s not just the shadows by day. It used to be dark at night at sea, but not anymore. With all the lights of the turbines flickering, it resembles a discotheque.”

According to NGOs and ecologists, fishermen’s trawlers disturb the seafloor. Post is not convinced that the 0.8 millimeters of his nets passing through the sand of the seabed are damaging:

If there are rocks, with corals, of course I would not fish there. It would damage the nets. However, the North Sea is one big sandbox. These environmental NGOs believe that you can protect a sand castle that was here 50 years ago by putting a ribbon around it and calling it a ‘reserve.’ They cannot fathom that nature is dynamic; dunes move under water, and you suddenly see an old shipwreck emerge. A one-meter wave has, below the surface, seven times as much force. There are the tides, or a strong northwest storm. All of these change the sea and its sandy bottom.

Fuel Prices

After the war in Ukraine started, fuel prices went through the roof. Wouda explains how this impacted his business: “Two years ago, gas oil was € 0.25 per liter. Last summer, it was € 1.26. My boat uses 3,500 to 4,000 liters per week. You can do the math.”

During this time, many of the larger trawlers did not even go out to sea because it would have led to losses.27 As Post comments, “The government said, ‘We need to support Ukraine; this is what we must do together as a country.’ But when the energy prices skyrocketed, we were on our own.”

Nitrogen (Again)

The area around the North coast of the Netherlands is designated as a Natura 2000 reserve. Authorities have deemed nitrogen emissions to be a problem there as well. Smaller trawlers (such as Wouda’s) fish for shrimp in these areas. To comply with the nitrogen regulations, the shrimp fishermen must make their boats “more sustainable” by installing new engines and catalytic converters; if they don’t, they lose their fishing licenses.28 “Both are investments of up to €100,000,” says Wouda. “That is a lot of money for a one-man business such as mine.”

Many other types of boats traverse the same protected areas, including ferries, yachts, and big container vessels. All of these are exempted from the nitrogen regulations.

Ban on Discards

Not all fish that are caught are suitable for sale. Traditionally, this bycatch has been “discarded” (returned to the sea). To combat this “wasteful practice,” the EU implemented a “landing obligation” policy that went fully into effect in January 2019. Under this policy, all catch needs to be brought to the coast with the goal of “eliminat[ing] discards by encouraging fishers to fish more selectively and to avoid unwanted catches.”29 As Wouda remarks, “It is an insane policy. Fifty percent of these [discarded] fish are still alive after you put them overboard. These are young fish; they should swim—it is crazy to bring them to land.”

Stepping Up the Surveillance

Fishing boats have been monitored for decades through GPS systems. The Dutch government already has a detailed record of where the fishermen fish. However, politicians claim to be worried that fishermen are not abiding by the landing obligation policy. To ensure compliance, the European Parliament has adopted legislation that requires fishermen to install cameras on their boats.30

Post comments:

For 40 years, I have been working with an ankle strap. Our vessels are monitored by the satellites. If just one of the wires is loose, we receive a letter from the Ministry. We keep a log of everything; there are drones. They [already] have sufficient control. I tell you, it starts with a camera for the fishermen. But once that is normalized, others will follow.

No Breakthrough Innovations Allowed

Beam trawling is a long-standing method of fishing that drags a beam and chains across the seafloor to “tickle” and catch bottom-swelling species. Instead of trawling a beam, an innovative pulse trawling method (called “Pulskor SumWing”) floats a kind of wing above the seabed and uses a very low-voltage electrical pulse to stir up the fish from the bottom.31,32 Extensive research on this invention showed that there was less unwanted bycatch, less or even no disturbance of the seafloor, and more than a 50% reduction in fuel use.33 In 2011, it was awarded a “Responsible Fishing Prize” (De Verantwoorde Visprijs) because it solved multiple environmental challenges at once.

In 2010, seven dozen Dutch fisheries received temporary permits to start using the pulse trawling technology. However, France, which has a fisheries lobby with considerable political clout in the EU (despite having a less advanced fishing fleet), actively and successfully campaigned against the use of the pulse trawling technology. An extremely biased media campaign even suggested, falsely, that the technology was responsible for electrocuting fish.31,34,35 In July 2021, the European Parliament and EU member states agreed to an EU-wide ban on the pulse trawling method.36

Wouda was one of the fishermen who invested in pulse trawling. He notes:

For us, this was an investment of around € 150,000. You are young, you think, ‘Let’s invest in the future.’ You would think that they would applaud this innovation. A sector that can reduce 60% of its energy consumption? Now, the equipment is in storage.

IV. Government “Solutions”

Stakeholder “Engagement”: Sign on the Dotted Line…

For appearances’ sake, the Dutch government devised two sets of “stakeholder engagement” processes, called the “Agricultural Agreement” (Landbouwakkoord) and the “North Sea Consultation” (Noordzeeoverleg), for farmers and fishermen, respectively. Officially, the purpose of the Agreement and Consultation was to gather stakeholder input for policy development, but van Maanen does not have a lot of trust in the two processes. He says, “It is one big charade. They created an enormously cumbersome process. If you wanted honest negotiations, you would not design it that way.”

In February 2023, an activist farmers interest group called Agractie bowed out of the negotiations, stating that the government is inflexible about its policies to limit farmers’ right to use their own land.37 Four months later, in June 2023, the more mainstream LTO organization, which also represents farmers, pulled out of the negotiations as well, arguing that the government was not offering farmers adequate “prospects for action and income security.”38 The government will now develop its farm policies without stakeholder input.

As for the fishermen, Wouda explains that during the North Sea Consultation, the representative organizations for fishermen ended up abandoning the consultation process, just like the farmer organizations.39 He says, “They will let you ‘have your say,’ but in the end, they will go ahead and do what was planned.” Post comments:

The North Sea Consultation is the same as the Agricultural Agreement. You may sit at the table on the condition of secrecy. At the end, you may sign on the dotted line. The only ‘solutions’ that they have are to send the fishermen away.

Numerous environmental NGOs have a seat at the North Sea Consultation negotiation table, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace, the North Sea Foundation (Stichting De Noordzee), Bird Protection Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland), and Nature & Milieu (Natuur&Milieu).40 The NGOs are very critical of the fishermen, but they support ocean wind farms to “combat climate change.” Wouda comments, “These NGOs say, ‘Well, if there is a wind farm, then we should get extra nature reserves, too.’ So, the fishermen lose twice.”

Nudging Farmers and Fishermen to Sell Off Land and Boats

The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
~ Ronald Reagan

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
~ Don Vito Corleone, in The Godfather

After all the regulatory harassment, the Dutch government has offered a “way out” to farmers as well as fishermen who have larger bottom trawlers—they can sell their farms and boats to the government, but only on the condition that they accept a professional ban.

Under the government’s terms, farmers who sell their farm and land would not be allowed to restart a farm, whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU, nor could they participate with others in a farming joint venture.41,42 Although the government claims to be offering farmers 100% to 120% of the market price,43 there is a significant caveat—the market price has dropped by at least 50% due to the farms’ proximity to Natura 2000 protected areas.44 Thus far, government pressure to buy up farms has not been very successful.45,46 Although the government’s stated goal is to buy out up to 3,000 farms, by September 2022, it was reported that only 20 had sold their farms.47 After the government renewed its offer in June 2023, 200 more farmers applied.48

As for fishermen, they must agree to destroy their boats, lose their fishing quota, and not buy a new boat for the next five years.49 Wouda states:

When these boats are gone, they’re gone. You can use the boats for other purposes, but they want to make sure they are not used for fishing again. They bring the ship to the scrapyard, and the first thing they do is to take a major chunk out of the bridge. That’s the end of it.

The fishermen with larger boats who fish on the North Sea are in such dire straits that 78 boats have already headed toward destruction,50 leaving only 40 such boats to fish out at sea, according to Post. The smaller boats that fish for shrimp have not (yet) been offered the “solution” to sell, but Wouda expects that if such an offer were to materialize, at least 50% of shrimp fishermen would quit.

Post, however, is going against the grain; he has bought an extra boat. He has sons who want to follow in their father’s footsteps. He explains:

There is so much surveillance and bureaucracy around the fisheries. For one fisherman, you’ll have two control boats, police checks, biologists, ecologists, the Ministry. It is a large upside-down pyramid. They will need to subsidize the last boat to keep everyone working in the bureaucracy they have built.

Transitioning Away from Production of Real Food

The Dutch government is investing a lot of money to prohibit and suppress traditional ways of producing food, ranging from investments in the “energy transition” and “restoration” of nature, the subsidies to buy out farmers and fishermen, and investments into insects, lab-grown meat, and other artificial or “pharma” foods.51 Here is a non-exhaustive overview of some of the expenditures:

  • Farmers: 1.9 billion euros (2020–2030) to make farmers more “sustainable” (or help them quit)52
  • Farmers: 7.5 billion euros (2022–2025) to buy out farmers around Natura 2000 reserves and “solve the nitrogen crisis”53
  • Fisheries: 444 million euros (2022) to destroy or adapt the fisheries fleet to make it “smaller, more diverse and more sustainable”54
  • Rural Areas: 25 billion euros (2022–2035) for a national “Rural Area” program to “solve the challenges in agriculture and nature”55
  • Climate: 28.1 billion euros (2023–2035) for “climate expenses,”56 including wind farms and solar farms at the expense of agricultural land and marine fisheries
  • Technocracy: 20 billion euros for “projects that will take care of economic growth in the long run”; supporting the current government’s technocratic vision, funded projects include projects focused on climate-resistant, gene-edited plants, the lab-grown meat ecosystem, the digital transition, and more57

V. Consequences of the Policy Tsunami

Discouraging the Next Generation of Farmers and Fishermen

What is the most insecure profession? It is to be a farmer or fisherman.
And who will you always need to feed the people, since the beginning of the world? It’s the farmers and fishermen.
~ Jurie Post, fisherman

The policy tsunami, regulatory uncertainty, selective government policies that create winners and losers, and low profit margins—all of these have combined, says van Maanen, to make family farming a fundamentally uncertain profession.58 In many places, this has led to farmers quitting their livelihood.14 This is a worldwide problem, but especially in Europe, where the agricultural workforce is aging and farmers’ children are increasingly hesitant to take over family farms. Compounding the policy uncertainties, heirs generally also need to take on a lot of debt, as decades of policies that encouraged the industrial model of scale enlargement have made most farms highly leveraged. At some point, the amount of debt makes it prohibitive to take over the farm. Only industrial or corporate entities can attract enough capital to take over the business.

Van Maanen comments:

When I was 25 to 35 years old, you couldn’t wait to take over the farm. But with the current generation, you see that they are very hesitant: ‘Do I really want to do this?’ It is painful to see. On the one hand, every farmer wants their children to take over the farm. On the other hand, you think, ‘If I love them, do I want to do this to them?’”

The Corporatization of Food Production

All of our interviewees warned that food production is moving into the hands of international corporations. As Van Maanen remarked:

The average age of farmers in the Netherlands is over 60 years old. If you take into account that only a small number of their children want to take over the farm, it speaks for itself that this will lead to more consolidation—fewer people who need to take care of more land. If we are not careful, food production will move from family farms into the hands of multinationals.

In his sector, Wouda noted that the large shrimp processors control the market:

They already control the way we work. It is advantageous for them to control the whole supply chain. If the family businesses are pushed out of the sector, they will fully control the fleet as well.

Recent research supports these observations. The research collective ETC Group reported in 2022 that four to six corporations dominate most agribusiness sectors—including seeds, agrochemicals, livestock genetics, synthetic fertilizers, commodity traders, food processors, grocery retail, and food delivery—controlling 40% or more of the market in each of those sectors.59 Describing the corporations’ oligopolistic practices, ETC Group calls them the “Food Barons.” Moreover, as political economist Jennifer Clapp observes in an article titled “The rise of financial investment and common ownership in global agrifood firms,” these corporations are, to a great extent, all owned by the same large asset managers, namely, BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, and Fidelity.60

Commenting on this corporate concentration, Van Maanen states:

Read full story here…

Sourced from Technocracy News & Trends

Image: The corpses in the streets of the Charkov at the beginning arouse the sympathy of the famished. |

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