“My apologies to the Parisians,” said Sebastien Louzaouen, a member of the Young Farmers’ Union in France, “but the farmers are coming.”
The warning comes as an estimated 1,700 tractors and thousands of agricultural workers from across the country rolled into downtown Paris on Thursday – part of a growing protest movement led by unionized small- and medium-scale farmers who say they are on the verge of bankruptcy due to drops in food prices, an export glut, and the encroaching threat of factory farms.
“It will create some discomfort for the Parisians,” acknowledged Xavier Beulin, president of the FNSEA, the nation’s largest farmers union and organizer of the protest, during a radio interview on Wednesday. Apologizing for the disruption in advance, Beulin said the dramatic show of force from the farmers was necessary in order to “show the government that there is a great determination, great suffering, and great exasperation” on the part of the nation’s struggling food producers.
According to the French Agricultural Ministry, an estimated 10 percent of farms in France—approximately 22,000 sites—are on the brink of bankruptcy with a combined debt of one billion euros. Click HERE to read more!