Agricultural cooperatives within the blind spot of peasant anger | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The barbecue sits on the protection guardrails of the N12 close to Caulnes (Côtes-d'Armor). This Wednesday, January 24, some 150 Breton farmers are speeding to glean a grilled sausage to roll right into a pancake. THE ” four hours brave people »we joke before toasting the ” success “ blocking the expressway. Like almost everywhere in France, farmers are demonstrating their ” Fed up ” of “not living with dignity from their profession”. Suddenly, Florent Gaultier, departmental president of Young Farmers, calls ” The troops ” to prepare ” the next “.

The 34-year-old breeder commissions young people to carve chicanes with their tractor in order to protect the dam. Under this bridge, you must set up camp for the night and the following ones. At this table, please write down names, telephone numbers and availability in order to organize guard shifts. Florent Gaultier warns: “The standoff will last. Cooperatives should lend us a hand with men, food and trucks! » In the audience, some farmers look at each other, skeptical. “The “co-ops”? However, they haven't cared about us for a long time! », this breeder is surprised. Another sneers: “You speak, they are as much part of the solution as the problem…”

In front of the cameras, throughout this media day, no one had mentioned the responsibility of this little-known, but essential, cog in French agriculture, preferring to blame Europe, the government, manufacturers, mass distribution… But , in a small group, the farmers dare to criticize these 2,100 groups to which three out of four farmers belong. Their ” instrument ” historical.

Also learn the decryption | Article reserved for our subscribers Agriculture has a particular place throughout the European Union

Massively developed after the Second World War to support the advent of productivism, the “co-ops” were shaped by the farmers themselves, to jointly negotiate seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc., but also to transform and sell their products. There is strength in unity, people encouraged each other in the countryside.

Landscape concentration

Over the previous many years, this galaxy of small native buildings has contracted. Committed to a globalized agriculture requiring them to provide ever extra and fewer expensively, these corporations have grown by way of mergers, constructed factories, purchased manufacturers, targeted on new sectors of exercise, invested overseas… Around thirty between them have change into corporations of worldwide scope with annual turnover exceeding one billion euros.

You have 77.25% of this text left to learn. The relaxation is reserved for subscribers.