European farmers block roads in Brussels and Madrid

The ministers of agriculture of the European Union (EU) are meeting to find solutions to the crisis in the agricultural industry.

Farmers continue to protest around the European Union (EU) buildings in Brussels (Belgium). They are demanding officials take action and alleviate the pressures put on their industry which has created a crisis. Some of the issues they are protesting include cheap supermarket prices, low-cost imports and EU environmental standards.

The farmers have taken to the streets with more than 100 tractors and have set piles of tires on fire. The police have dispersed large amounts of water to put out the flames.

This happened while the union agriculture ministers were in a session to debate the crisis in the sector. They were discussing how to reduce agricultural inspections and possibly make exemptions regarding some environmental standards.

For most farmers 'It's about income'

Morgan Ody, general coordinator of the agricultural organization La Vía Campesina, told Reuters that, for the most part, farmers' protests are over the low "income" they receive:

It's about the fact that we are poor and that we want to make a decent living. We are not against climate policies. But we know that in order to do the transition, we need higher prices for products because it costs more to produce in an ecological way. 

The Belgian Minister of Agriculture David Clarinval spoke out on the matter:

Farmers need to be paid for what they do... There are aspects of the Green Deal demanded of farmers that are not remunerated. That is the core of the problem. 

Third week of protests in Spain

Spain is one of the countries in Europe where farmers have taken to the streets to protest. In a third week of demonstrations in Madrid (the capital), several agricultural organizations are demanding improved conditions. Specifically, they are seeking:

- "Flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy."

- The "change in the operation of the Agri-Food Chain Law."

- The creation of an "agricultural insurance system."

- The "urgent investments in irrigation."

- "Help to deal with setbacks such as drought."

- "Measures to encourage the incorporation of young people into the countryside."